Recruitment & Big Cheese Reads Coordinator and School Volunteer Program volunteer Carolina Davila wants to know, “How you are helping our future leaders?”
As a Boston Public Schools alumna, my appreciation for education has truly grown since I graduated high school and college and stepped into the real world. I joined the Boston Partners in Education team back in September as a recent college graduate looking to face new challenges. As the Recruitment & Big Cheese Reads Coordinator, I’ve visited various schools throughout the city; an eye-opening experience after four years of absence. Through this lens I’ve gotten to see how beneficial these volunteers would’ve been to me as I went through middle school coming from Puerto Rico.
My parents decided to enroll me in a mainstream English program at the Mary E. Curley (now the Curley K-8 School) instead of seeking bilingual support. I believed my knowledge of the English language from media exposure was more than enough for me to excel. Once in school, I realized there are no subtitles or rewind/pause buttons in real life. Despite my academic success, I second guessed myself. Even when I knew the answer, raising my hand to speak in class was not an option. Working with a volunteer could have boosted my confidence.
I believe that having a Boston Partners in Education volunteer makes more than an academic impact on a student; it’s a growing experience for both parties. Academic mentors are members of the community who lend their time and effort to make a meaningful impact in a student’s life. A student who has an individual commit to them on a weekly basis respects that person in a different way. It’s respect that is earned rather than expected. The time spent with a student shows that a person cares and the relationship that is built can change the child’s perspective and feelings about education, success, and leadership.
As a team, we put a lot of effort into finding, training, and matching the right volunteers with the right students – giving everyone a pleasant experience. As our community’s face continues to change, more and more bilingual support is needed for our students. I’m now an academic mentor through the School Volunteer Program to a BPS eighth grade girl. She’s pretty new to Boston, and her home language is Spanish. Through our similar stories, I hope to inspire her to be different, and make a change.
How are you helping our future leaders?