Volunteering and Beyond

Citizen Schools has the most incredible volunteers. These dedicated Citizen Teachers commit to leading an apprenticeship class one afternoon per week for ten weeks. They plan field trips, bring in guest speakers and create incredible opportunities for middle school kids across the country. As if that wasn't enough, many of our volunteers have gone above and beyond the call of duty-- recruiting their friends and colleagues to teach apprenticeships, donating supplies and money, and advocating for Citizen Schools in state and local governments.

We asked Citizen Teacher and Citizen Schools supporter Megan De Porter Zeishner from Cisco Sytems why she supports Citizen Schools. Her responses are inspiring...

Name: Megan De Porter Zeishner

Company: Cisco Systems, Reseach Triangle Park, North Carolina

Citizen Schools Location: Durham, North Carolina

Name of apprenticeship: Girls U.N.I.T.E (Understanding Needs In Third World Education)

Campus: Neal Middle School


1. How many years have you been involved with Citizen Schools? 

I have been recruiting Cisco employees located at our RTP campus to volunteer with Citizen Schools for 1.5 years. This fall semester is the first semester I have taught with Citizen Schools.

2. Why did you decide to teach an apprenticeship this semester?

I have been very impressed with the Citizen Schools staff, students and volunteers from day one. I knew right away that I wanted to be involved in the classroom and this fall semester the right opportunity presented itself. A colleague of mine, Jan Pigeon, had volunteered to teach a girls advocacy and fundraising class which are topics that I have an interest and experience in. So I jumped at the chance to support her for the semester. 

3. What else are you doing to stay involved with Citizen Schools outside of teaching?

As the Community Relations Program Manager for Cisco RTP, I support Citizen Schools throughout the year by hosting information sessions at Cisco for potential volunteers, educating our employees on the national partnership that Citizen Schools and Cisco has developed, assisting with monetary and product grants to Citizen Schools (Citizen Schools of NC was awarded a $45,000 grant during the last granting cycle.) Beyond my job, I am a constant advocate for the program. 

4. What was your WOW! moment from this semester?

There were several moments throughout the year that made me say, "wow." But the most recent was during rehearsals for the end-of-the-year WOW! event. I was so impressed as I watched our students take the stage and not only teach back what they learned over the past 10 weeks, but teach what was important to them, what they felt was impactful and with great confidence. It was a wonderful moment. Check out our blog at http://girlsuniteatneal.blogspot.com/

We are so thankful for volunteers like Megan who make a real difference in the lives of students in their communities. Every semester we get closer to closing the opportunity gap in America thanks to the leadership, commitment and support from thousands of Citizen Teachers. This spring you can join the ranks of America's best volunteers. Sign up to teach an apprenticeship. You can also get involved beyond the classroom by supporting Citizen Schools with a donation.