by Leah Hall, AmeriCorps member serving on the State Street Foundation team with Higginson/Lewis K-8 School


I am grateful for all of my students.

My students are young, bright, and full of drive. Reading out loud in class and solving multi-step math problems are just two of the many tasks that I have seen them accomplish this year. My students keep me on my toes, and have taught me what it truly means to be flexible and patient. I am so fortunate that I get to be in an environment where every day is different. The silly things my students say make me laugh, and remind me of how fun it was to be in the fifth grade. Their hard work, smiles, and hugs give me the energy to go to school the next day and do it all over again.

I am grateful for my partner teacher.

My partner teacher has made me feel welcome in her classroom since the first day of school. Ms. Waldron possesses a great deal of warmth and love for her students. She does this by ensuring their well-being, greeting them with a smile every day, and using class discussions to talk about social justice issues, such as racial and gender inequality. These conversations encourage the students to think beyond the text. Ms. Waldron also realizes that each student has different needs. She allows the more talkative students to have their voices heard, while reminding the more hesitant ones that their thoughts and ideas are also valuable.

I am grateful for my team.

My teammates are the people who I have spent the most time with, while serving at City Year. We work well together, and have gotten to know each other as professionals and individuals. Although we come from different backgrounds and experiences, we are all here to achieve the same goal: to help our students succeed. We are well aware that some days will be tougher than others, and that those are the days when we will need each other the most. My team has a way of making me smile or laugh even on those really difficult days. I am so glad to be on a team with such ambitious and kind-hearted people. They are a constant reminder that I am not going through this on my own.

I am grateful for this opportunity.

On the very first day of service, my fellow AmeriCorps members and I were told that City Year was an opportunity unlike any other. There is no better way of describing it. In just a few short months, I have gotten to work with some outstanding teachers who truly love what they do. I have also gotten to meet AmeriCorps members who are dedicated to giving their students the absolute best. I am grateful for this opportunity because I feel a sense of community from my team, as well as the entire corps. Being part of this community makes me feel like I am part of a cause greater than myself.


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