By Jhanel Chew, AmeriCorps member serving on the Staples, Inc. team at Rogers Middle School

City Year has been an invaluable experience thus far. My service would not be as successful or as far reaching, however, if I weren’t for the support of others, both inside and outside the City Year community. Here are three people that I'm glad to have around during this journey.

My Program Manager, Kaitlin O’Donnell

Kaitlin O'Donnell

I met Kaitlin at the end of my first week as an AmeriCorps member serving with City Year Boston. Since then, she has proved to be an invaluable resource. Whenever I am unsure on how to best support our students, she offers guidance. Whenever I am having a rough day, she offers perspective. Beyond that, she is one of the most caring and empathetic people I know and puts the needs of all students above anything else.

My Team Leader, Josh Tingley

Josh Tingley

I have to admit, it is sometimes intimidating to be around Josh. He served a lot of my students last year as a first-year AmeriCorps member, and every time his name is mentioned, they talk about how great he is. He has shared the knowledge gained from his corps experience, and has my team constantly laughing through warm-ups and keeps us engaged during our learning and development days with his warmth, humor, and dedication to a cause greater than self. He also works harder than almost anyone I know and puts 100 percent effort into ensuring the success of our team, our students, and the school, and that's exactly why I'm so thankful to have him around.

The Rogers Middle School community

Rogers community

This one may feel like I'm cheating because this is definitely more than one person, but I honestly cannot pick just one person at my school community. I partner with six teachers throughout my service day, and they all bring their unique perspectives and tools to engage the students. Whether we’re learning proportions or reading a passage or giving our students feedback, I am constantly learning from teachers about the ways to best support the students both inside and outside the classroom. But it's not just my teachers who challenge me to be a stronger AmeriCorps member. I have received a lot of guidance and support from our school administration, such as the school secretary, the guidance counselor, the Dean of Students, and even the Principal. At my school, there are so many hardworking and dedicated people with a wealth of knowledge, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

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