Written by Valarie Kemp, AmeriCorps member proudly serving on the Entergy Louisiana team at Broadmoor Middle School.

As an AmeriCorps member, you learn about the City Year’s core values. Although we don’t consciously reflect on them throughout our daily activities as an AmeriCorps member, they are an ever-present part of our work. As we approach the halfway mark for our service year, I decided to ask my team what these values mean to them and how they uphold them in their daily service.  


“A lot of people describe our generation as selfish. While I may not agree with that, I do believe that it is easy for us to get caught up in our own lives. I think City Year offers us the amazing opportunity to participate in something with a lasting impact. When I think about the future, I think about my place in it. But within my daily service, not only am I bettering my future, but I am also improving the futures of my students, and in turn, the generations to come.” - Valarie Kemp


“My favorite thing about working with my team is that we all have the same core value that our students are the most important aspect of our service. With each event that we plan we always keep our students in mind first and that always ensures that our events are a success!” - Hannah Harrison


“My students are constant reminders that our future is so bright. Every day I look forward to talking with my students about their futures and am always happy to hear their dreams. Many of my students have big dreams such as the NBA, NFL, and Ivy League, and I always work to help them figure out ways that they can make those dreams a reality. Working with my students has shown me all of the amazing things that young people are capable of and that supporting them is supporting our future.” - Hannah Harrison


“Before joining City Year I naively thought that the public school I received was the same public school education children were receiving across the country. I was not aware of all of the socioeconomic factors that impacted education. While I am aware that there are certain circumstances my students face that I cannot change, my partner teacher and I strive to make our classroom an equal learning environment by modifying lessons to different learning styles.” Valarie Kemp


“Every morning the Broadmoor Middle team gathers to power greet and uplift the students as soon as they get on campus. In the beginning, I was unsure as to why this was so important but everything changed once the kids learned the words. Now we power greet as a school and I see its impact not only the students and staff but it also encourages us as a team. Persistence is something that I’ve learned that every AmeriCorps member must have in order to seriously make a change in the lives of our students, even when it’s not something you don’t intentionally understand.” - Brianna Young


“Sometimes I have to remind myself of the reasons why my students may sometimes not perform at their very best. I often get frustrated with their work ethic and remember that I need to have empathy.  Now that I am working so closely with these kids, I forget about the backgrounds that these children come from, especially in the classroom. I have no idea about the home life of half of these children, but I always remind myself to be empathetic.” - Jessica Berry


“I love the diversity of City Year. Until recently, most of my friends have been people who were very similar to me. Just within my team, I believe the diversity in backgrounds allows us to relate to different students in different ways.” – Valarie Kemp   


"Everyday that I see my students, I see myself. Working alongside my kids has been such a fulfilling experience that it has ultimately reshaped my life. Seeing as though I get to experience life with them as they're growing into their own individual purposes, it's blatantly clear that the groundwork for our future lies within the schematics of their minds." -Aniyah Foley


“I love my Broadmoor Middle school team. In the past few months, we have become a little family. We have learned each other’s strengths and weaknesses and that has helped us successfully complete every project we do. Even outside of school we have become a support system for each other.” - P Ellis


“Excellence is both something we strive for every day as a team and a standard I have set for my student. I try to stress to them the importance of being detail oriented especially in the things you put your name on.” - Treon Austin 

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