Name: Jordan Cooper
Site Served: New Hampshire
Years of Service: FY14
College: Emmanuel College
Hometown: Barnstable, MA
What made you choose to serve with CY?
I was part of Breakthrough, where I had the opportunity to work with two 6 student classes teaching ELA, teach an extracurricular Drama class and advise a small group of 7th graders during a summer. After having a unique and rewarding experience teaching at Breakthrough, I needed to take a step back and do some soul searching. I graduated from college with a degree in secondary education and English Literature and received my initial licensure to teach in Massachusetts.
How were you able to use your own Breakthrough experience to relate with the students you worked with through CY?
The small group setting at Breakthrough was similar to working with a select group of students at City Year. My experience at Breakthrough prepared me to give students I worked with through City Year the individualized attention they needed. Similar to Breakthrough’s culture, as a City Year AmeriCorps member I would sing student led cheers for students and community members during morning meetings. At both City Year and Breakthrough, I felt like a near-peer-- we went by our first names, worked closely with high schoolers who were teaching alongside us, and served as mentors for students in the program who could one day teach at Breakthrough or serve at City Year as well.
What do you think about the CY approach? (i.e. near peer mentoring, full time service, ABCs)
The City Year approach is effective and corps members play an important role in shaping it by providing their feedback throughout their service. I believe strongly in full time service for young people here in the US. I did not have the opportunity to serve until after college and reflecting back, I would have wanted that for my myself after high school. Having near peer mentors in schools can positively shift a student's entire attitude. I witnessed their excitement and our impact when we showed up every day in our red jackets.
Are you choosing to stay in education after your corps service year?
I am choosing to stay in education because I believe that every person has the right to a good education, and dedicated mentors and teachers.
What are you hoping to accomplish as an educator?
I hope to give students the tools they need to be to be successful in the years to come, and also share my love for learning new, challenging, and beautiful ideas. I hope to create a collaborative, positive and high energy learning environment.
What would you tell a corps member that wanted to go in the education field and who is considering joining City Year?
I will always suggest City Year to a potential future educator. I often share my experience with friends who are considering City Year and let them know how it will not only help broaden their network, but also inform and fuel their teaching experiences forever. Just the other day, while eating breakfast at a diner in my home town, I suggested both Breakthrough and City Year to a senior in high school who worked there. I always find opportunities to talk about City Year-- or maybe those opportunities find me?