I finally turned in my acceptance letter for City Year Milwaukee today. I’m really excited for this experience ahead of me. I’m certainly nervous and I think it’s because I know that this is going to be a life-changing experience for me. Last time I had this feeling, I was accepting a summer position with Breakthrough. 

Until August, Milwaukee. <3 

City Year's Starfish Stories

Every year, our new corps members begin their City Year journey.  And every year, one of City Year’s 24 founding stories, the “Starfish Story,” is read and discussed as a way to understand our dedication to every student who needs extra support to succeed.

The “Starfish Story” is about a young girl who began throwing starfish back into the ocean that had been washed up on shore.  People questioned her actions asking how she could make a difference saving a few starfish among the thousands that were washed up.  The little girl understood that she could not save all of the starfish by herself, but realized she could still make a difference with a few, and kept throwing starfish back into the ocean. Inspired by her dedication, the entire community began picking up starfish and throwing them back to sea, and when working together they were able to save the thousands of starfish that washed ashore. 

City Year and our corps members are inspired by the Starfish Story each and every day.  Each extra moment we take with a student to listen, to guide, or to support can make a difference in their self-esteem and connection to learning. Just like saving one starfish led to saving thousands, City Year corps members have collectively impacted the lives of more than 1.3 million students since we were founded 25 years ago. One student turns to fifty, which turns to 150 thousand, and if we all work together to reach every student who needs our help, we can help give each of them the opportunity to succeed. 

Be sure to check out an inspiring Star Fish story from City Year New Hampshire.

I need to get better at this...

So I guess I need to get better at reminding myself to write in this blog. I mean, a lot has happened since that last post I made a long time ago. So let me start from the beginning. 

I have finally completed my degree from Valparaiso University (THANK GOD!). I am very glad to finally completed my education. Though the bigger question became, Now what? I was done with school, and I now had to figure out what was going to happen next. So with some help of friends and and family alike I began to hunt for jobs. Unfortunately at the time summer was still in full swing. Many of the high school and college students were working the retail jobs that I was applying for. So after about two weeks of trying to figure out what I was going to do, I finally sought help from one of my good mentors. I will refer to him as M. Now M and I have a little bit of history. I met him my sophomore year of college, and was my voice lesson instructor. I was not aware he worked in the career center until I was junior. Since then M and I have become really great friends. Not only did he become a my mentor, he became a great supporter in my efforts to find me a job after college. I could go on about M, but that would take more than one post. 

Anyways, I had finally gone to see him about the job search, and we began to do a more targeted search. After a few weeks, nothing was really sticking. Then I guess the “Eureka” moment happened a little over two weeks ago. I was talking to M about some non-profit organizations, and M then mentioned a group called CIty Year. I was really hesitant about the idea, because I was not really sure what the organization was. After more research, I sent in my application, and was immediately called to set up an interview (Crazy right?). I was hired in less than 48 hours. I was hesitant about accepting the position, but after a few deliberations with some people I accepted the position, and I am now currently working the great organization called City Year. City Year is a non-profit organization that works in many differing cities in the US. They work in at-risk schools, so that can improve the performance of the students in three major areas: attendance, math, and english. However it is more than just mentoring and tutoring these young minds. Its giving these students a second chance. I hope that is what my team and I will be doing for the next ten months. until then I will try to post more often about my experiences with City Year and my life in general. So stay tuned for more! 


Take a look into the lives of City Year, Los Angeles Virgil Middle School. 

This is a video documentation of a year in the life of a City Year Corps Member. City Year is an education nonprofit through Americorps that works to help students with attendance, behavior and course performance.

Little did I know that helping students would really end up helping me. I learned so much this year from my co-workers, supervisors, partner teachers, but MOST OF ALL my students. I hope you enjoy and please feel free to share with anyone you want :D

***I do not in anyway represent the thoughts of City Year or AmeriCorps. This is my own personal project independently from my work as a corps member. This is an interpretation of my experiences.****

This is my City Year DC team! I work in a sixth grade inclusion classroom, meaning I deal with kids who have been labeled as “special needs”. It makes for an interesting experience every day, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I have three months to go and plan to cherish every day with my team and my students. 

Throwback Thursday! In honor of Awkward Season 3 premiering this week I thought it would be a fun throwback. This shot was taken last fall when I met Brett Davern (aka Jake Risoti). It was sick because we talked for a long time and had a lot in common… Like growing up about 10 miles or so away from each other… Haha #tbt #awkward #mtv #brettdavern #teamjake #cyla #cityyear #makebetterhappen #celebrity #awesome #throwbackthursday