My year of service has been quite an experience. One that has definitely shaped my perspective on the culture in which I ‘d like to work in the future. Rochester Youth year and my host site oped my eyes to a new outlook on education, and what it means to be impoverished by education, and not just by the literal definition of poverty. While attending Americorps workshops and RYY development events, I was able to see that the literal notion of poverty has shifted gears.
The topic of poverty became more apparent to me as I began to serve at East High. I connect lack of financial means to a shortage in motivation to excel academically amongst students, parents, and again school administration. I realized that as students became more complacent with their academic failure, administration also became content. Students continued to fail and Surplus in homework increased. In such a case, I would imagine that if students continue to fail, more homework would be given or students would would reach out to adequate resources to help them. It became mind boggling to me. even in my service in promoting student engagement, I realised that students were either not interested in participating in service opportunities or became disinterested if their friends weren’t continuously showing up. It finally hit me after a while that not caring about academics or fostering change within their community is not something that they just don’t care about, it;s just the culture of the urban community’s high schools’. The fervor, ppassion, and will to progress even with numerous bumps in the road isn’t apparent to all students. Reaching out to resources within the school at times is the farthest thing from a High school students mind. With being said, I am extremely greatful for being given the opportunity to work with high school students because I was able to recognize their capabilities, talents, and my desire to want to mobilize their innate qualities into success.
I’m excited to start on the path of advocating for students to receive all forms of resources and academic attention that they deserve. After teaching for a few years, I would like to pursue a degree in educational policy where I can actually affect the rules and laws that are being put in place to organize urban schools. Without Americorps or Rochester Youth year, I may have never thought about a career path such as this. And to that, I thank RYY!!!