Citizen Schools Employee Spotlight: Jay Torres-Almodovar


What is your role at Citizen Schools?

I am a Campus Director at our newest NYC partnership,  I.S. 157 The Benjamin Franklin Health and Science Academy

Before working at here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

The most interesting AND unusual job I've ever had was while I was in college. I used to be a lab assistant for the Neuroscience and Psychology department. I used to work with rats and mice all day long, (over 40hrs per week), and was responsible for observing and recording their grooming patterns and behaviours. I had to video record them for over 8 hours a day. It was just me and the mice/rats!! was super hard not falling asleep throughout the long quiet day with my "buddies".

157 College Rediness Staff Bulletin Board.jpg

What do you like most about your job now?

What I like the most about my job now is the ability to be a key player in the "behind the scene" work that my team gets to do and then see it all play out in really cool after school program for our students. Seeing the students get all excited and ready for their clubs or apprenticeships because they know they will be doing something that interests them is amazing!

What has been your favorite project at Citizen Schools? Why ?

My favourite project at Citizen Schools so far has been planning for the WOW! It has been super exciting getting the school community and students involved in the planning and seeing their hard work come to life!

What is your proudest moment at Citizen Schools?

My proudest moment so far is seeing the students happily greeting me and my team every morning when we walk into the building. Their excited faces and smiles make our days so much brighter!

What are 3 words you would use to describe Citizen Schools?

Inspiring. Opportunities. Supportive.

Where do you get your inspiration from ?

I get my inspiration from my childhood, my students, and my team. When I see the students come into after school every day, I think about my days in middle school when I had the opportunity to be part of an amazing after school program. I want to be able to provide the same great after school experience or even better than I had growing up and I know my team and I can make it happen for them.

If you could pick one superpower, what would it be?

I would love to have invisibility as a superpower.

What are five words (or less) of advice for others at Citizen Schools?

Self care is extremely important!