Why were you interested in joining our AmeriCorps program at AHS? When I first saw the job posting for the AmeriCorps position at Passages, I was so excited to see something that included service with my area of interest. I always knew that I wanted to work with refugees, and this position seemed like a great first step for me.
What motivates you as an ELL Assistant? Seeing something finally click for my students that we’ve been struggling with never gets old. Every day I get the opportunity to help these kids meet their goals and make them excited to learn.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Chicago? I love to eat new things, and even though I’ve lived in Chicago for six years I still haven’t run out of new things to try!
If you could describe your AmeriCorps experience so far in one word or phrase, what would it be? Every day is a new day.
What impact do you hope to make in your service? I hope that during my service years I can help give these kids the tools they need to do well even when I’m not there to help them anymore. So many of them struggle to ask for help, and when they do, they don’t exactly know how to ask for the kind of help they need. I hope that after our time together my kids will be able to advocate for themselves whenever they need it.
What impact do the children you serve have on you? Working with my kids teaches me so much about myself. I’ve grown so much with them this year, and the fact that we are growing together makes it even more meaningful. Watching them mature and learn so much in such a short time helps to remind me that I still have a lot to learn about myself as well. I don’t think they notice, but they challenge me to be a better person.
What’s an AmeriCorps memory that you’ll hold onto? When we got the opportunity to visit the workplaces of other AmeriCorps members, I was able to engage in a long and meaningful conversation with some adult ESL students. I feel so lucky to be able to have these kinds of conversations with all the people I’ve gotten to meet through AmeriCorps.
What are you most proud of so far in your service? I recently started a book group with my fourth graders and I managed to pick books at their level that they’re excited to read and talk about. Every time we get to have book talks it makes me so happy to hear them ready to be engaged in discussion.
Where do you see yourself post-AmeriCorps? After AmeriCorps I would like to get my masters degree. I’ve been looking into a lot of different programs, but ultimately I know I want to be somewhere where I can work with people to help solve problems.
If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? I would love to learn more languages. If I could develop my language learning skills that would make my life so much easier.
Where would you most like to travel to? There are not many places that I wouldn’t want to travel to, but my next travel plans are for Japan and Korea in the summer of 2019, and possibly Greece in the spring.
Who’s your favorite movie/TV show/book character? I recently read a book called She Would Be King and one of the main characters is Gbessa the Witch. She is strong and multifaceted and I want to be more like her.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? I could eat pasta every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of it. Specifically my family’s red sauce recipe with italian sausage and sicilian meatballs.
What is your favorite holiday? My favorite holiday has become Christmas because I have six nephews and Christmas is always better with kids around.
If you could go back in time, what year or period would you travel to? I would love to go back to Seattle in the 1990’s just to experience it as a young adult.
Founded in 1978, AHS is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping people become healthy, educated and employed. We serve all who seek our help, with special expertise in the challenges facing refugees, immigrants and other underserved communities in the greater Chicago area.
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