Volunteer Impact: Take It From The Pros

Every semester as we gear up for our apprenticeship classes to start, we prepare our volunteers to take on a role much different from their jobs as engineers, computer programmers, lawyers and bankers. We get them ready to take on the challenge of being a Citizen Teacher-- and opening a lifetime of opportunities for middle school students across the country. As we train our volunteers, they repeatedly hear from us about the incredible transformation that happens during the apprenticeship experience. This time, don't take it from us. Take it from the pros,  the Citizen Teachers who have witnessed the impact firsthand...

"Seeing the students too scared or shy to stand up in class on the first day, to seeing the students stand in front of judges, a jury and a packed courtroom with confidence is the story that lends this program to such great success."

- Jeremy Eisemann, Liberty Mutual, MA


"Starting with a disruptive and somewhat disinterested student at the beginning of the course and seeing him become one of the most engaged students by the end of it, was very special. It took some effort and didn't happen over night, but it did show the value of persistence and not taking things personally when the initial attempts did not work."

- Darren Schulz, Pfizer, NJ

"It gave me great joy and encouragement when students picked up on new and tricky concepts and retained the information! They encouraged me to challenge them and challenge myself as well."

-Lauren Yager, Memorial Hermann, TX

"We had one student in particular that was more of a handful than others. We worried that he didn't take things seriously, that he didn't want to be in our apprenticeship and that we might not even be able to include him in the WOW! at the end of it all. Then when the WOW! came he was able to relay so much more information to adults asking him difficult questions about the apprenticeship. Turns out the whole time we had this brilliant young mind absorbing this information just waiting for an opportunity to show it off. This leads me to wonder how many more diamonds in the rough we have out there. I have been a pessimist about the state of our future, particularly when it came to our education. Now when I have these feelings I think of this student. I think of how our hard work and dedication to these children will lead to more of these "WOW" moments."

Christopher Otto, ExpressJet Airlines, IL

"The first day of the apprenticeship, the kids were a little wary. One girl in particular was a little standoffish -- as if she were thinking, "this is kind of nerdy, I'm not sure it's cool enough for me." By the second week, she was totally engaged. And now she's one of the most enthusiastic kids -- with the zeal of a convert."

Robert Cassels, Google, MA

Ernst & Young LLC Apprenticeship at Yankee Stadium

"One of our students has special needs and is constantly bullied and jeered at. With some coaxing and special attention, he really was able to show how smart he is. He's putting together the bulk of the presentation for his team and is really proud that he can showcase his work - even if he's too shy to say so."

Suanne Li, Ernst & Young LLP, NY

"Witnessing the shyest, sometimes most troublesome kids in the class suddenly transform themselves into public speakers for a school newspaper. Feeling empowered and trusted by Citizen Schools staff and DeVargas Middle School staff to come into the school to play my part in helping the kids achieve in the apprenticeship. Walking down the halls at lunch time and hearing the kids call out my name as if they were happy to see me. Watching the kids who said they couldn't do it, actually do it."

Robert Nott, Santa Fe  New Mexican, NM

So there you have it. Teaching an apprenticeship changes lives. Want to see for yourself? Fill out this form today.