Jamal Smith is currently a first year AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow, serving at Orchard Gardens in Boston, Massachusetts.
1. Why did you decide to become an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow?
I wanted to service the young people in my community through the education field by creating unique programs and raising awareness on opportunities. Citizen Schools is continuously making efforts to achieve equity through education and nurtures and encourages teaching fellows to prioritize forward thinking. As a teaching fellow, I have developed valuable skills with the help of my colleagues and campus directors that I will be able to take with me after my two years of service.
2. What has been one of the most transformative moments of your service?
So far the most transformative moment of my service year has been when five of my most energetic, self-driven students shared their excitement about going to high school. The students at Orchard Gardens are well aware that in four years, they will become adults. It has been a pleasure watching them encourage each other and cherish each moment as eighth graders.
3. How has service changed you and your perspective of the world?
Service has changed my experience by forcing me to go inward. There's no greater reward than seeing my students persevere and graduate next year.
4. If you could summarize your year of service in one word, which one would it be? Why?
Excellence. Teaching a large population of Cape Verde and Dominican students really has kept me on my toes. As a first year teaching fellow, this is the first opportunity I have ever had to interact with a diverse student body. I have such a intelligent, unique group of students, that have educated me on their culture and neighborhood. Additionally, each of one them have different learning styles and helping students whose first language is Portuguese or Spanish has provided me invaluable experience.
If you'd like to connect with Jamal and see more of his work, please click here: