NYC Mayoral Service Awards

NYC Mayoral Service Awards

At Citizen Schools, we envision a world in which schools, companies and families partner to provide students with a set of real-world learning experiences that put them on a path to college and career success. Here at CSNY, we are lucky to have volunteers representing so many different fields each semester. From an introduction to neuroscience with Columbia University, to a public speaking master class with a Googler, we couldn’t do what we do without our amazing CTs! CSNY recognizes the hard work and dedicated service of our volunteers through the NYC Mayoral Service Awards.

Tools For Peace: Volunteer Spotlight

Tools For Peace: Volunteer Spotlight

This semester, Pasadena-based non profit Tools for Peace partnered with Citizen Schools California to teach an apprenticeship at Roots Academy in Oakland. Founded in 2000, Tools for Peace is an organization whose purpose is to strengthen and support emotional intelligence, as well as increase academic success. Their mission is to inspire people of all ages to develop kindness and compassion in everyday life, and that is exactly what this semester allowed them to build with our students in Oakland.

Congratulations to the Presidential Volunteer Service Award Winners!

As we say here at Citizen Schools, it takes a village to serve our students. Among the leaders in that village are volunteer Citizen Teachers, who play a critical role in introducing students to engaging opportunities and diverse careers. During the 2015-2016 school year, over 2,300 Citizen Teachers taught more than 1,000 apprenticeships, impacting over 5,300 students across our network.

psa eagle

Each year, The President of the United States recognizes those who volunteer for causes across the country through the President’s Volunteer Service Awards. Hundreds of our Citizen Teachers are among the recipients.  For some, this is their very first honor. For others, it is part of a collection of Presidential Awards, representing the many semesters they have returned to teach. For all, this is a testament to their civic leadership.

This year, 398 volunteer Citizen Teachers received recognition from the President at the gold, silver, and bronze award levels. Each level corresponds to a specific level of engagement - and reflects an incredible investment in the students we serve:

  • 67 Gold award winners for teaching four of the past four semesters
  • 83 Silver award winners for teaching three of the past four semesters
  • 248 Bronze award winners for teaching two of the past four semesters

Volunteers from our National Leadership Partners (Biogen, Cisco, Cognizant, and Fidelity Investments) accounted for 45  awards, and 80 of our partner companies were represented in the overall total.

We are celebrating these volunteers around the network throughout the summer at WOW!s and at Citizen Teacher social events. This award is a meaningful way to reinforce the impact Citizen Teachers have on the community, and a way to show our appreciation for their commitment to sharing their knowledge and passion with students.

Please join us in celebrating their dedication!


Adam Richlin-Freelance Cinematographer, NY Alex Lawing-UNC,NC Allie Temkin-Common Threads,IL Amanda Kaufman-US Environmental Protection Agency,NC Amelia Molina-TX Andrea Folmer-Bank of America,NC Anne Bowie-WilmerHale, LLP,MA Arthur Everett-EMC,NC Bargavi Errabolu-Deloitte,IL Bill Good-Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization,MA Bin Wu-SanDisk,CA Brenda williams-Russell Williams Group,IL Bridget Tomes-Fidelity,IL Christopher Haid- New Valence Robotics,MA Cindy Gabriel-Deloitte, IL Cody Spencer-Chicago Public Schools,IL Dana Lindberg-Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky + Popeo PC,MA Daniel Oldman-EMC,NC David Schneier-Fidelity,NC Donna Fontana-Fidelity,NY Douglas Campbell-retired teacher, CA Ed Lau-Microsoft,NC Elena Satraitis-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL Emily Biegner-Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers,MA Emily Hodge-Choate Hall + Stewart LLP,MA Erin Buckman-Credit Suisse,NC Francis Jang-SanDisk,CA Genevieve Aguilar Reardon-Choate Hall + Stewart LLP,MA George Mykulak-WilmerHale, LLP,MA Giovanni Green-Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza,NY Hannah Hannawi-Credit Suisse,NC Hio Lam Lao-Deloitte Consulting, LLP,IL Hong Zou-EMC,NC Jacob Rea-Fidelity,NC Jacqueline Mantica-Choate Hall + Stewart LLP,MA James Reid-Credit Suisse,NC Jamie Dickerson-Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky + Popeo PC,MA Jared Cohen-WilmerHale,MA Jean-Yves Ntamwemezi-Microsoft,MA Jennifer Blood-Freelance,NY Jerry Diehl-EMC,NC Joe Darko-Microsoft,NC Joel Burke-Kittehface Software,TX Josh Glazer-Bank of America,NY Kari Shearer-Shell Oil Company,TX Katherine Kelley-Digitas,MA Kelley Coyne-Women's Audio Mission,CA Kelsey Kreamer-Nielsen,NY Kerry Laidlaw,CA Leora Rodenstein-WilmerHale,MA Lisa Berkshire-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL Liston Rice-Shell Oil Company,TX Madison Gardner-Credit Suisse,NC Marty Stanton-Cisco,NYNJ Meeghan Salcedo-Cognizant,NJNJ Michael Bevilacqua-WilmerHale,MA Philip ArmstrongBank of America, NC Robert P.Mersereau-Aldrich Astronomical Society,MA Roland Labana-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL Rosema Hermano-EMC,CA Ryan Futrell-Fidelity,NC Sanjay Kadiwala-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL Sean Anderson-Fidelity,IL Sonya Johnson-CPCC STARS Alliance,NC StevenCooper-SanDisk,CA Steven Garza-Boy Scout of America,TX Susan Freeman-Northeastern University,MA


Adaeze Ezeh-Synaptics Inc.,CA

Adam Harbour-SanDisk,CA

Aditya Jeet-Google, NY

Ahmed Elsayed-Hikvision Usa, Inc. IL

Albert Cheng-ADEA NYU Chapter,NY

Alena Golovchenkol-Ernst & Young LLP,NY

Alexandra Ross-EPA,NC

Alexandra RiewerMotorola Mobility,IL

Alfred Reed-Bank of America, NC

Alice Saiki-Cisco,CA

Alice McCormack-ExpressJet Airlines,TX

Alison Dally-Bank of America,NYNJ

Amanda Marvelle-Biogen,NC

Amanda McKibbin-Biogen,NC

Amber Haskell-MFS Investment Management,MA

Ana Linton-Intralinks,NYNJ

Anant Shukla-Google,NYNJ

Andrew Puckett-Fidelity,NC

Angela Tessin-Cisco,CA

Anil Koluguri-EMC Corporation,NC

Ann Guilinger-athena health,MA

Anne Coulombe-Intralinks,MA

Annie Martin-Athena Health,MA

Anthony Furino-Newberry Campa Architects,TX

Anya Estrov-Google,NY

Arbora Malushi-Northern Trust Bank,BOSMA

Arturo Perez-EF Education,MA


Ashley McFarland-Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated,NC

Barbara Serven-Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services,MA

Bashir Afzaliself-employedCA

Bernardine Bernard-BNY Mellon,MA

Beth Bond-ForGoods,IL

Bill Joyce-Fidelity,MA

Brad Seiler-Square,NY

Bradley Mertes-American Eagle Airlines,IL

Brandon Duncan-Keller Williams Preferred Realty,NC

Brent Ramsey-Massachusetts Department of Transportation,MA

Brian Dailey Eaton-Vance Management Inc,MA

Brian Peltonen-Fidelity Investments,MA

Britton Picciolini-Google,IL

Brooke Callahan-American Express,NYNJ

Brian Towey-Cognizant,NC

Caio Mattos-CapitalOne,NY

Caitlin Cook-ExpressJet Airlines,IL

Carla KupeArion-National Organization of Black Law Enforcement - Chicago Metropolitan Chapter,IL

Carol Rosenberg-Google,NYNJ

Catherine Lee-NYU College of Dentistry,NYNJ

Cayla Yang-EMC,MA

Celeste Brown-Schweitzer Fellowship,NC

Charles Knipper-Deloitte Tax LLP,IL

Chavi PayalSharma-YW Boston,MA

Chi Le-Wayfair LLC,MA

Chivas Nambiar-Verizon Corporation,MA

Chris Otto-Otto Family Foundation,IL

Christine Okike-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP,NYNJ

Christopher McIndoe-Stoneturn Group, LLP-MA

Chuck Shaw-Google,NYNJ

Cindy Song-Ernst & Young,NYNJ

Claire Keady-Bank of America,MA

Clarke Egerton-Fidelity,NC

Clementina Nunez-City of Houston,TX

Dan Burton-Google,CA

Danielle Hurlburt-Ernst + Young,NYNJ

Darrell Ford-DRF Industries, LLC,TX

David Dillon-VMware,MA

David Landry-Verizon Corporation,MA

David Saff-Google,MA

Dawn Webb-Bank of America,NC


Dennis Arrowsmith-Houston Grand Opera,TX

Derek Lin-NYU School of Medicine,NY

Devika Dhawan-American Express,NY

Diana BatistaLa-Economica Meat Market,MA

Dmitriy Zemel-Pratt Institute,NY

Donna Steadman-Hines Inc.,TX

Dwayne Jones-Fox Sports Network,NC

Edina Lemo-Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.,NY

Eli Wylen-Google,MA

Elizabeth Fargo=Intralinks,NY

Elle Song-Microsoft,NC

Eric Biegeleisen-Broadmeadow Capital,MA

Farah Ali-Citizen Schools Club,NY

Fernanda Sanovicz-School of Visual Arts, NYNJ

Forrest Pieper-New Valence Robotics,MA

Frankee Bullock-Fidelity,NC

Gabrielle Bailey-Wayfair LLC,MA

Gilbert Chaidez-Unity Care,CA

Gina Coletti-Northern Trust,MA

Giriraj Vaithulu Gopal-Cognizant,NYNJ

Godffrey David brown-Oakland School Police,CA

Grant Brown-UBS Financial Services - NYIL

Griffin Mueller-Cisco,NC

Harry Bullen-Google,NYNJ

HilarySmith-Citizen Schools,CA

Hirashini Shanmugaraj-Google,CA

Jack Fleming-Athena Health,MA

Jake Jagust-Deloitte Tax LLP,IL

Jake Sherin-Motorola Mobility,IL

James Woody-Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated,NC

James Shipley-National Amateur Sports,NC

Jane Parris-Phillips Exeter Academy,MA

Janelle Arthur-H.E.R. Heart Foundation INC,NY

Javar Christian-Bank of America,NC

Jeanne Harran-Intralinks,MA

Jeffrey Easton-Fidelity,NYNJ

Jennifer DiCola-Fidelity,IL

Jeremy Eisemann-Liberty Mutual Group,MA

Jesse Parker-The Nieslen Company,NY

Jessica Lyssy Perry Homes,TX

Ji YunHan-NYU College of Dentistry,NY

Jin SupShin-NYU College of Dentistry,NY

John Studley Jr-EXOS/Google,MA

John Bliss-SCI Consulting Group,CA

John Spreer-Lending Club,CA

John Gagne-United Continental Holdings, Inc.,IL

John Lisy-UBS Financial Services,IL

Jonathan Tang-Aztec Technologies,MA

Jonathan Calhoun-Bank of America,NC

Jonathan Kwan-Raytheon Company,MA

Josefa Palma-Legal & General,IL

Joseph Dunn-Fidelity,NC

Jovan Oliver-New Jersey Institute of Technology,NJ


Julie Palomba-Amplify,NJ

Justyna Malz,MA

Kadia Tubman-Nielsen,NY

Karen L.Pickerill-PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP,NY

Kavita Ramachandran,NJ

Kaydene Bennett-Pricewaterhouse Coopers,NY

Kelly Petrich-Cisco,CA

Kemena Brooks-Laurel Street Residential,NC

Kenneth Wade-Corvisa,IL

Kenon Fachon-Wayfair LLC,MA

Kevin Cullen-Fidelity,MA

Keyna Chow-Ropes & Gray,CA

Khalil Um'rani-North Side Credit Unions,IL

Kimberly Amick-Biogen,NC

Kiza Forgie-AIA - Houston Chapter,TX

Koren Underdue,NC

Kristen Thomas-Wayfair LLC,MA

Kristen Carroll-Citizen's Schools (Baylor College of Medicine,)TX

Laila Ameri-WilmerHale,MA

Lauren Johnson-Common Threads,IL

Lea Kilraine-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Lisa Xia-Nielsen,NY

Lori Egan-Bank of America,MA

Louise Bhavnani-City of Charlotte,NC

Lucero Luna Miranda-Girls Who Code,NY

Lucy Vasserman-Google,NY

Lyndon Tran-Citizen Schools Club NYUCD,NY

Lynne Crawford-Cisco,CA

Madelyn Herzog-FoodCorps,MA

Manali Mehta-Shell Oil Company,TX

Mari Badger-Self Employed,MA

Mario Calzetta-ExpressJet Airlines,TX

Mary Ann Fiscus-Motorola Mobility,IL

Mary T.Howard-Soaring Birds,MA

Mat WolffA-IA - Houston Chapter,TX

Max Simchowitz-Capital One,NY

Megan Wagner-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL

Megan Petrik-Bank of America,NC

MeredithMcWeeney-Citizen Schools,CA

Mical Nobel-Athena Health,MA

Michael Merritt-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL

Michael Riley-Goulston & Storrs,MA

Miguel Betancourt-Rice University,TX

Morgan Matthews-Ernst & Young, NY

Najla Long-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP,NY

Nathaly Lozano-Verizon Corporation,MA

Nathania Reid-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP,NY

Nedum Aniemeka-Project Exploration,IL

Niccole Marcial-Colgate-Palmolive,NJ

Nicole Mahoney-Lending Club,CA

NicoleBrown-LS3P Associates LTD,NC

Nikhil Nathwani-Microsoft,MA

Omoyeni Makindeomo-Yeni LLC,NY

Onalie Sotak-Google,MA

Oscar Teunissen-PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP,NY

Paris Cherry-YWCA,MA

Patrice Tanti-ThermoFisher Scientific,CA

Patrick Kennedy-Salem Access Television,MA

Patrick Gries-Motorola Mobility,IL

Paul Truong-SanDisk,CA

Pauline Vogl-Cisco,CA

Pell Osborn-Motion Art,MA

Peni Garber-ABRY Partners,MA

Praagyan Pokharel-VMware,MA

Prasanna Pilla-VMware,MA

Rachel Pollinger-Cambridge Associates,MA

Rachel Shack,WilmerHale-MA

Rachel Madsen-Legal & General Investment Management America,IL

Rajitha Chaparala-Intralinks, MA

Raquelle Kaye-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP,NY

Rebecca Moles-Eaton Vance Management Inc.,MA

Rebecca Tang-Google,NY

Rebecca Carrizosa-Ropes & Gray,CA

Ricardo Martinez-Martinez Architects,TX

Richard Achee-Google,NYNJ

Richard Wolny-Motorola Mobility,IL

Richelle Mechenbier-Xylem Inc.,NC

Robert Mersereau Jr.-No 9 Park Restaurant,MA

Robert Taylor-Liberty Mutual,MA

Robert Ford-DRF Industries, LLC,TX

Robert Johnson-Tabernacle of Prayer For All People Inc.,NY

Rodrigo Chandia-Google Inc.,MA

Roger Pease-Enbase Solutions LLC,TX

Rosaland Hopkins-Fidelity, NC

Ruxandra Calin-EY,NY

Saba Jangda-Citizens School Club, NYUCD NY

Sabiya Bacchus-Munroe-Fidelity,NY

Sabrina Pham-Citizen Schools Club NYUCD,NY

Sam Polyak-Fidelity Investments,MA

Sameer Ahmed=WilmerHale,MA

Sara Li-Fidelity,MA

Sara Loudon-Ernst & Young LLP,NY

Sarah Michael-Baylor Pediatric Student Association,TX

Scarlet Vaickus-Motorola Mobility,IL

Seth Conyers-Northern Trust,IL

Shailesh Kumar-United Continental Holdings, Inc.,IL

Sheri Brazley-Common Threads,IL

Shirley Wells-Ernst & Young LLP,NY

Shoun Hill-The Associated Press,NY

Shruti Nagarajan-Cambridge Associates,RI

Simon Pilecki-King's Chapel,MA

Simon Kingaby-Piedmont Natural Gas,NC

Stephanie Moreno=Baylor College of Medicine,TX

Stephen Cross=Fidelity,MA

Stephen Friedenthal-Cisco,MA

Steven De Nicola-Nielsen,NY

Sudharsan Chandraprakash-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL

Susan Gronbeck-US Trust,NY

Tracy Callahan-Biogen,MA

Tracy Horridge-Thermo Fisher Scientific,MA

Tristan Foley-Goulston & Storrs,MA

Tyrone Hall-Durham County Department of Public Health,NC

Valerie Young-athenahealth,MA

Victoria Gemme-New England Baptist Hospital,MA

Vincent Armentano-Northeastern University,CT

Vincent Passafiume-United Continental Holdings, Inc.,IL


Ya QingChen-NYUCD,NY


Yolanda Brewer-National Organization of Black Law Enforcement - Chicago Metropolitan Chapter,IL

Zach Fields-Mintz Levin,MA

Zach Cloyd-Ropes + Gray,MA

Zachary Zuniga-Scribe America,CA


Alexandra Reynolds-WilmerHale,MA Allison Levin-Fidelity,IL Anne-Marie Stevenson-Latta Plantation Nature Center,NC Ashok Moghe-Cisco,CA Benjamin Lucas-Yeshiva University,NY Bijal Shah-Credit Suisse, NC Bob France-SanDisk, CA Bradley Wynn-Legal & General Investment Management America,IL Brandi Williams-Polished Pebbles,IL Brendan Nolan-Piedmont Natural Gas,NC Brian Smith-Dominion Solution Corporation,TX Carol Lenox-US Environmental Protection Agency,NC Carrie Isaacman-Independent,NYNJ Christine O'Donnell-Bank of America,NYNJ Christine Style-Communications with Style,CA Claire Weber,CA Coleman Poag-EMC,NC Corey Cronin-City National Bank,CA Cory Spinney-Digitas,MA Daniel Burns-Deloitte,IL Dimitri Alves-Lockheed Martin,NJNJ Doug Leonard-Coca-Cola Bottling Co.,NC Douglas Reagan-Cisco,NJNJ Emily Thomas-Rice University,TX Eric Teasdale-Choate Hall + Stewart LLP,MA Eric Friedman-eSkill Corporation,NY Eric Frackleton-Microsoft,MA Ethan Apter-Google,MA FadiAfa Al-Refaee-SanDisk,CA Harriet Hoder-Wilmerhale,MA Itzik Gilboa-SanDisk,CA James Hershberger-Houston Grand Opera,TX Jason Lee-Intel Corporation,CA Jeffrey Whitley-Shell Oil,TX Jody Weber-Bank of America Corporation,MA John Ryan-Fidelity,MA Jorge Nava Piedmont-Natural Gas,NC Julia Wrobel-Columbia University,NYNJ Julia Conner-Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department,NC Kaela O'Donnell Belk, Inc,NC Kate Mohorn-SAS Institute,NC Kelly Flook-Thermo Fisher Scientific,CA Kenneth Barron-Fidelity,NC Kesha Diamond-Apthorp Pharmacy,NYNJ Kim Kiesow-EMC,NC Lauren Riley,MA Leah Segal-WilmerHale,MA Luke Fernandes-Legal and General Investment Management,IL Marcos Guerrero-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL MARK FULLMAN-DELOITTE TAX LLP,IL Meghan Bourke-Legal & General Investment Management America,IL Mica Warton-YWCA,MA Michael Walker-Alexander/Ryan Marine & Safety,TX Michael Silver,IL Monica Hauser-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL MorganMoss-New Valence Robotics,MA Moriska Selby-The Correctional Association of New York,NYNJ Niamh Fitzgerald,IL Nisha Saboo-Deloitte Tax LLP,IL Nykeya Woods-True Star Foundation,IL Paschell Sutton-Jersey City Board of Education,NY Penny Temple,NY Qian Cheng-ADEA NYU Chapter,NY Rachel McIntosh-Kastrinsky-ASPPH/EPA,NC Rachel Stout-Houston Public Library,TX Rebecca Holub-Google,NY Reginald Liger-Cisco,NC Roy Fralin-Fidelity Investments,NC Seth Moskowitz-WilmerHale,MA Shira Schindel-Litographs,NY Shruti Gopinathan-Johnson Controls,CA Shuran Liang-Citizen Schools Club NYUCD,NY Siva Krishna Titti-Cognizant,NYNJ Susie Forbath-Athena Health,MA Swati Gokhale-Cognizant,CA Tej Gokhale,CA Tiffany Feng-Digitas,MA Travis Smith-Shell Oil Company,TX Vanessa Gaskin-Ernst & Young LLP,NY Victor Chow-NYUCD,NY WaiMay Chee-PwCNY,NY William-Merritt-Bank of America,NC Yana Malysheva-Google,MA Yasmilka Clase,NY

Congratulations to the Presidential Volunteer Service Award Winners!

As we say here at Citizen Schools, it takes a village to serve our students. Among the leaders in that village are volunteer Citizen Teachers, who play a critical role in introducing students to engaging opportunities and diverse careers. During the 2014-2015 school year, over 2,300 Citizen Teachers taught more than 1,000 apprenticeships, impacting over 5,300 students across our network.

psa eagle

Each year, The President of the United States recognizes those who volunteer for causes across the country through the President’s Volunteer Service Awards. Hundreds of our Citizen Teachers are among the recipients.  For some, this is their very first honor. For others, it is part of a collection of Presidential Awards, representing the many semesters they have returned to teach. For all, this is a testament to their civic leadership.

This year, 422 volunteer Citizen Teachers received recognition from the President at the gold, silver, and bronze award levels. Each level corresponds to a specific level of engagement - and reflects an incredible investment in the students we serve:

  • 61 Gold award winners for teaching four of the past four semesters
  • 70 Silver award winners for teaching three of the past four semesters
  • 291 Bronze award winners for teaching two of the past four semesters

Volunteers from our National Leadership Partners (Biogen, Cisco, Cognizant, Fidelity Investments, and Google) accounted for 66 awards, and 80 of our partner companies were represented in the overall total.

We are celebrating these volunteers around the network throughout the summer at WOW!s and at Citizen Teacher social events. This award is a meaningful way to reinforce the impact Citizen Teachers have on the community, and a way to show our appreciation for their commitment to sharing their knowledge and passion with students.

Please join us in celebrating their dedication!


Ailey Crow, CA - Pivotal Software, Inc.Albert Ching, CA - Google Alfonso Perez, MA - New Valence Robotics Amelia Molina, TX Andrea Folmer, NC - Bank of America Anne Bowie, MA - WilmerHale, LLP Arthur Everett, NC - EMC Arun Joseph, NC - EMC Becki Holub, NY - Google Bill Good, MA - Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization Bin Wu, CA - SanDisk Brian Smith, TX - Dominion Solution Corporation Carol Lenox, NC - US Environmental Protection Agency Christopher Haid, MA - New Valence Robotics Coleman Poag, NC - EMC Daniel Oldman, NC - EMC Donna Fontana, NY - Fidelity Investments Douglas Campbell, CA Douglas Reagan, NJ - Cisco Ed Lau, NC - Microsoft Emily Hodge, MA - Choate Hall + Stewart LLP Emily Thomas, TX - Rice University Eric Frackleton, MA - Microsoft Eric Teasdale, MA - Choate Hall + Stewart LLP Erin Buckman, NC - Credit Suisse Gayle Moberg, NY – GDM Market Solutions Harry Bullen, NY - Google Hong Zou, NC - EMC Jacqueline Mantica, MA - Choate Hall + Stewart LLP James Reid, NC - Credit Suisse Jerry Diehl, NC - EMC Jesse Nocon, MA - Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization Joe Darko, NC - Microsoft Joseph Eveillard, MA - Cambridge Adventure Day Camp Josh Glazer, NY – Bank of America Katherine Kelley, MA - Digitas Kelley Coyne, CA - Women's Audio Mission Kelly Flook, CA - Thermo Fisher Scientific Kerry Laidlaw, CA Kimone Gooden, CA - Cisco Kirstin Frazell, NY - Facebook Leanne Measroch, NC - Microsoft Linda Lazor, CA MacCalvin Romain, MA - Digitas Martin Stanton, NJ - Cisco Melanie Closs, NY – The Other Side Michael Bevilacqua, MA - WilmerHale, LLP Neil Jacobs, MA - WilmerHale, LLP Philip Armstrong, NC - Bank of America Prateek Sachdeva, CA - Oracle Rachel Stout, TX - Houston Public Library Rachele Louis, CA - Gensler Rebecca Dodder, NC - US Environmental Protection Agency Robert P. Mersereau, MA - Aldrich Estronomical Society Rosema Hermano, CA - EMC Ruth Gitlin, NY – Angelo, Gordon & Co. Shivani Mehta, NJ - Johnson & Johnson Sonya Johnson, NC - CPCC STARS Alliance Susan Dickey, CA - Google Victoria Ho, CA - Google William MacKrell, NC - SAS Institute


Adam Richlin, NY

Aisha Davis, NC - Microsoft

Alex Lawing, NC - UNCC

Amanda Kaufman, NC - US Environmental Protection Agency

Ana Lopez, MA - Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky + Popeo PC

Andree Fryar, NC - Wells Fargo / Wachovia

Angela Berry, NC - City of Charlotte

Anne-Marie Stevenson, NC - Latta Plantation Nature Center

Aric Sangruchi, CA - Space Systems/Loral

Audrey Hoiles, MA - Cambridge Associates

Aya Rothkopf, CA - Space Systems/Loral

Bara Reyna, TX - NASA

Benjamin Eld, MA - Digitas

Bill Stitson, MA - Trip Advisor, LLC

Brian Conley, MA - Microsoft

Brianna Muhlenkamp, TX - Shell Oil Company

Chris Casanova, NC - Microsoft Corporation

Cindy Gabriel, IL - Deloitte

Cody Spencer, IL - Chicago Public Schools

Daniel Davison, NY - Bank of America

David Konczal, IL - Motorola Mobility Foundation

David Rahmani, TX - Shell Oil Company

Erika Schroeder, NY - Pratt Institute

Ethan Apter, MA - Google

Faris Werr, NC - Wells Fargo / Wachovia

Genevieve Aguilar Reardon, MA - Choate Hall + Stewart LLP

Gifty Mansaray, MA - Edwards Middle School

Giovanni Green, NY

Hall Cherville, NY - AB

Jared Cohen, MA - WilmerHale, LLP

Jean-Yves Ntamwemezi, MA - Microsoft

Jennifer Blood, NY

Jocasta Conyers-Johnson, TX - The Women's Fund for Health Education and Research

Jody Weber, MA - Bank of America

Justin Forman, NY - Google

Karen Nee, MA - Bank of America

Kesha Diamond, NY - Apthorp Pharmacy

Kiara Byrd, IL - Project Exploration

Kim Kiesow, NC - EMC

Kweku Ulzen, NC - Microsoft

La Rue Ragan, CA - Raven Works Field Sports Ministry

Lauren Kupersmith, MA - Goodwin Procter LLP

Leora Rodenstein, MA - WilmerHale, LLP

Lisa Berkshire, IL - Motorola Mobility Foundation

Mark Melfi, NC - Fidelity Investments

Martin Lopez Diaz, Jr., CA - LifeLong Medical Care

Megan Petrik, NC - Bank of America

Micaela Warton, MA - YWCA Boston

Michelle Hocking, CA - Google

Molly Berman, NY - Planned Parenthood

Nanelle Napp, NC - Bank of America

Olubukola Ashaolu, NY - National Employment Law Project

Onalie Sotak, MA - Google

Rachel Klooz, NY - Google

Richard Carey, MA - Thermo Fisher Scientific

Robert Mersereau Jr., MA - No 9 Park Restaurant

Robert Shames, MA - Choate Hall + Stewart LLP

Roland Labana, IL - Motorola Mobility Foundation

Roy Fralin, NC - Fidelity Investments

Ryan Futrell, NC - Fidelity Investments

Samantha Powers, MA - Microsoft

Sanjay Kadiwala, IL - Motorola Mobility Foundation

Scott McConnell, MA - Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Sowji Karumuri, NC - EMC

Susan Freeman, MA - Northeastern University

Tanisha Myers, NC - Wells Fargo / Wachovia

Tayeb Karim, MA - Google

Valerie Peicher, TX - Baylor College of Medicine

William Davis, NC - Credit Suisse

William Merritt, NC - Bank of America

Celebrate Ahmed Elsayed as the June Citizen Teacher of the Month!

Citizen Teachers Volunteer Citizen Teachers pair their personal passions with their expertise when teaching apprenticeships, helping to foster student excitement around new areas of study and future possibilities.

This spring, Ahmed Elsayed of Hikvision paired his enthusiasm for alternative energy with his engineering skills to teach an apprenticeship on alternative energy vehicles to students at Chase Elementary School in Chicago, IL. Students spent ten weeks learning about different ways to fuel and design a vehicle. At the final presentation, called a “WOW!”, students presented their designs for a car that used alternative energy. The apprenticeship was provided through a new partnership with Hikvision fostered through the leadership of Anna Boudinot, Content Manager.

“Hikvision is growing fast in the U.S. We’re in the process of creating the identity of the company here,” shared Anna. “One important element we wanted as part of our growth is to create an environment supporting employees who want to give back the community. As a tech company, we wanted to team up with a non-profit dedicated to STEM education. The U.S. is lagging behind in this field and can’t address the growing need for people with training in STEM within the U.S. I started doing some research and came across Citizen Schools. I reached out to Hikvision employees and presented Citizen Schools at a national sales meeting to find interest.”

Students with Ahmed and Frank

Ahmed approached Anna, who was looking for a way to share his passions. “I always wanted to volunteer in the community and it was exciting to hear Anna was moving Hikvision in that direction,” said Ahmed. “I’m a huge proponent of weaning ourselves off fossil fuels and getting into renewable energy. I do it at home and really wanted to pass it off in the classroom, as well as pass on my knowledge of electrical engineering.”

Join us in congratulating Ahmed Elsayed as our Citizen Teacher of the Month!

Why do you volunteer as a Citizen Teacher?

“I want to share my skills and give back. There have been people in my life that have gone out of their way for me. One person in particular is my father. He was a mechanical engineer and growing up we always did projects. I got in trouble for taking stuff apart and not always putting them back together. Our transmission was being reassembled in the kitchen one time and while putting it back we forgot the reverse. He was always a self-sustaining type of person and that helped launch my interest in engineering.

Has being a Citizen Teacher changed you?

“It’s made me want to get more involved. During the WOW! it was really cool to see how much the students had learned and to see them explain it to others.”

What is your favorite “aha” or “WOW!” moment from the semester?

“There was a group of girls really shy and reluctant to engage. One of the activities was building a structure that could hold the most weight. They didn’t really want to do it. We talked about what they could use as materials and I shared that anything that was on the desk could be used. That included chopsticks, tape, and rubber bands. The girls really thought outside the box because they ended up using the tape dispenser itself as a stand. That was their WOW moment. They ended up winning the design challenge. They realized that they could do it and after that moment they were much more involved and successful.

The two girls that were the most involved were very different from each other. One of them was the quietest girl in the class and she rocked it. The other was very high-energy. To see her take that energy and rechannel it into giving a very detailed explanation of how hydrogen cars work was pretty mind-blowing. It was awesome to see them explain it to Anna at the WOW!.”

Volunteer Card Ahmed

What is your favorite way to connect with students?

“My favorite is through hands-on design exercises. That’s the way I connect with my son. We’ll build birdhouses. When you hand them the tool, that builds the trust that builds the bond. Giving a student a little more responsibility and trusting them with it solidifies that trust, that bond.”

What advice do you have for new Citizen Teachers?

“Patience. That is a big one.

The kids come from all walks of life. Patience is the one I had to learn.  Find ways to keep an open mind, think outside of the box, and create ways to make the lessons fun.

The response was always the best when you could come up with an activity that involved them instead of standing up in front of the room and lecturing. Give very clear instructions and something that allows them to choose what they want.”

Anna had the chance to visit Ahmed’s WOW! and shared the following:

“What blew my mind was going to the WOW!, meeting the students in person, and having them explain the technology behind alternative energy vehicles. The students talked about the benefits and disadvantages and when these cars could hit the market. They were little encyclopedias. I asked them if they had known anything about alternative energy before starting the class and they said ‘nope.’ It was amazing what information they could soak up in the 10 week timespan.

I was thrilled to see the female students engaged in learning about STEM. I hope that the opportunity these girls received in the classroom taught them they are as equally capable as the males.”

Citizen Schools Sets Sail with Lending Club

Close your eyes. You’re stepping onto the netting of a 105-foot trimaran sailing boat. See the white sail majestically swell above you. Hear the seagulls call out, echoing against the hull. As the boat gains speed on the water, feel the spray of the San Francisco Bay against your skin. This morning, you boarded a school bus in East Oakland with your classmates, and this afternoon, you are no longer a 12-year-old middle schooler. You’re a young sailor on your first expedition out to sea. Lending club blog photoOn June 17, 2015, 12 students from Greenleaf K-8 School in Oakland and their families had the unique opportunity to go on their first sailing adventure, thanks to Lending Club, a new corporate partner for Citizen Schools California headquartered in San Francisco.

CEO Renaud Laplanche and co-skipper Ryan Breymaier chartered the maxi trimaran--now called the Lending Club 2--and they have selected an international team for a racing program to take place over the next 7 months. The crew has journeyed from Europe to both the East and West coasts of the United States, hosting sailing trips for colleagues and friends, which now includes Citizen Schools students, families, and AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows.

This year, Citizen Schools welcomed Lending Club as its 2015-2017 Financial Education-Banking Apprenticeship Sponsor in California. Citizen Schools is the company’s first official education non-profit partner, helping to launch its “Doing Good” program, which supports Lending Club employees’ efforts to make a difference in their community. Laplanche spoke about the need for these efforts: “An opportunity gap exists in financial education. Lending Club and Citizen Schools share a goal to narrow that gap, and we’re very excited to launch this partnership and get started.”

Lending Club employees will be forming teams to teach financial education apprenticeships across Oakland and San Jose in the 2015-2016 academic year. This summer, Citizen Schools and Lending Club are collaborating to develop an interactive apprenticeship curriculum that introduces youth to basic financial concepts like “credit”, “debt,” and “savings.”

Citizen Schools California knows the value of intentional partnerships with companies like Lending Club. The apprenticeship model thrives and benefits our students most when we partner with individuals, across a multitude of industries, who understand our mission and recognize the larger implications of sharing their specific knowledge and resources.

“An overwhelming number of low-income students don’t have access to educational opportunities at the same level as upper-income students,” says Laplanche. “Citizen Schools has built an admirable program that effectively addresses that gap. We look forward to having a hand in leveling the playing field and helping Bay Area students develop their financial literacy.”

About Lending Club

Lending Club is the world’s largest online marketplace connecting borrowers and investors. They’re transforming the banking system to make credit more affordable and investing more rewarding. They operate at a lower cost than traditional bank lending programs and pass the savings on to borrowers in the form of lower rates and to investors in the form of solid returns.

Creating a Personal Brand with Brenda Williams, the Citizen Teacher of the Month

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_QRa-JE4c8 Providing students, particularly at the middle school level, with exposure to different professions and direction for thinking about their future is critical to preparing them for success in school and beyond. This is Brenda Williams’ goal every semester when she teaches “My Guided Personal Story” to male students at Carter G. Woodson Elementary School in Chicago, IL. With 25 years of experience as a business strategist, Brenda knows what it takes to create a compelling personal brand.

She teaches students to be the CEOs of their lives. “My Guided Personal Story (myGPS) provides a structure for the students to think about their talents, values, and dreams to ultimately tell an interesting story about themselves and who they are. The story effectively communicates who they are and where they want to be in five years,” said Brenda.

This month we celebrate Brenda as the Citizen Teacher of the Month for her passionate effort to prepare students for a successful future.

Meet Brenda...

How did you create My Guided Personal Story?

“Being a strategic planner is all about projecting a vision. I want to make sure students have something they created on their own, to remind themselves of the great young men they want to be and think about the paths they need to take to get there. It helps them to create a vision for an inspired future and think about the steps necessary to further their dreams.

Your brand begins in your mind. It’s not easy because many kids face challenges on a daily basis. They need a place in their heart and mind where they can go that says ‘I see the rainbow. I see a promising future for myself.’”

How have you seen the apprenticeship impact students?

“It’s introspective, immersive, and highly expressive. They have to use language they don’t necessarily use everyday. I work to get them a place where they can talk about themselves comfortably. We talk about how it’s okay to be vulnerable. We’ve been able to find out a lot about their lives and find out why they are the way they are.

I make them stand in their truth by getting them to describe themselves and their interests. If you want people to believe you, you have to stand strong in your truth and make people see you for who you are.

They talk to their family and friends about vision boards they create for a personal commercial. The commercial focuses on the statement: ‘This is who I am, this is what I stand for. This is my dream and this is what I want to be.’ They can keep it on their phones and easily go back to remind themselves during difficult situations.

What’s one of your favorite “aha” or “wow” moments?

“When I came back from my Citizen Teacher training, one of my former students ran up to me and said ‘I got my report card! You have to see it! I’m talking A’s and B’s. I got myself together Miss Brenda, I got myself together this time. myGPS helped me do this.’ I felt very, very fulfilled thinking about this. If you can get at least one student to move the needle that is success.

My second favorite moment is when I was starting my new course. It went from eight boys to 18 boys. The word got out and I thought it would be difficult, but three students even repeated the class. I’m not a pushover and thought they would find the apprenticeship difficult because of it. One of the students asked, ‘Miss Brenda, can I stand up and tell everyone how myGPS has changed my life?’ He stood up and did more than I could ever do for a class. He did a testimony for myGPS. It was one of those moments where I’m thinking ‘He’s got it. He gets it.’”

What advice do you have for other volunteers?

“Teaching middle school students is a lot more difficult than dealing with corporate executives. Success is defined differently. If we get one or two students to the next level in the lesson, that’s success. You have to adjust your communication to make sure you’re speaking to them at their level.

It’s not easy. This is the most challenging and rewarding thing I’ve done. I got out there to be a contributor in hopes of moving the needle and I found out how hard it is. It made me a lot more empathetic and gave me a greater understanding. Utilizing tools and suggestions from Citizen Schools’ campus staff helped me reach the students more effectively and manage their classroom behavior, which can be challenging at times.”

Why should people volunteer to teach students?

“It helps kids understand why it’s important to go to school. There are a lot of interesting careers that they had never heard of before my class. By teaching them we are opening their worlds to different roles and are fortifying their experience with what goes on in the real-world. That kind of exposure is important. Many people are looking for ways to give back but spend a lot of time working or having hobbies that are really important to them. They don’t often realize that giving back can be sharing our experiences, knowledge, and passions with kids.

Kids are the future, and people who want to cultivate and shape the future should be involved with kids. If you need structure, Citizen Schools will give you that. I think it’s a wonderful way to contribute to the future of our society in way that makes you feel good.”

PRESS RELEASE: Hikvision and Citizen Schools Provide STEM Education to Students in Need

Hikvision and Citizen Schools Provide STEM Education to Students in Need

City of Industry, CA – May 26, 2015 – HikvisionÒ USA, North America’s leading provider of innovative, award-winning video surveillance products and solutions, has teamed up with Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities.

Hikvision volunteers provided hands-on classroom opportunities for middle school students at Chase Elementary in Chicago, where the students learned about engineering design and built alternative energy vehicles. The ten-week semester culminated in a “WOW! Event” this month where students taught back what they learned to teachers, parents, and community members. As a technology leader, Hikvision is dedicated to supporting opportunities for STEM-based education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) across North America.

Citizen Schools, which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year, has a rich history of enabling public middle schools in low-income communities to provide a longer learning day with enrichment opportunities for students. Volunteers called “Citizen Teachers” visit the classroom in the extended day each week to engage the students in activities they would not otherwise be able to participate in during the school day. Students gain knowledge in topics ranging from journalism to astronomy, leading toward what Citizen Schools CEO Steven Rothstein refers to as a “moment of discovery.”

“Igniting a moment of discovery means that the students feel empowered,” Mr. Rothstein said. “They build something: the rocket flies, they’ve cooked something for the first time, their financial plan shows how they could potentially afford to go to college. These opportunities are crucial for students in many urban areas around the country. By the time they have reached 6th grade, they typically receive 6000 fewer hours of academic and personal enrichment opportunities than students in higher-income communities.”

Citizen Teachers from Hikvision taught an engineering design course at Chase Elementary where the students built structures and vehicles, tested their load-bearing capacity, and then transferred that knowledge into an understanding of how alternative energy vehicles operate and how they will affect our society in the future.

“Coming into the classroom every week and seeing how excited the students got about what they were learning was an incredible experience,” remarked Ahmed Elsayed, a sales engineer for Hikvision USA who volunteered at Chase. “Their desire for knowledge was palpable and I’m proud to be part of a program that fostered that.”

In addition to volunteer hours spent in the classroom, Hikvision also made a financial donation to provide classroom supplies.

“As a forward-thinking technology leader, Hikvision understands that the next generation of scientists and engineers are sitting in our middle school classrooms today,” stated Jeffrey He, president of Hikvision USA and Hikvision Canada. “Educating these students so they can realize their full potential will lead to a more robust workforce and a broader landscape for the STEM-based industries of the future. Hikvision is honored to play a part in facilitating this fundamental conveyance of knowledge.”

To learn more about Citizen Schools, visit www.citizenschools.org.

For more information about Hikvision, visit booth 822 at the Electronic Security Expo (ESX), June 24-28, at the Baltimore Convention Center, or go to www.hikvision.com/en/us.

About Hikvision

Hikvision is the world’s largest supplier of video surveillance products and solutions. The company specializes in innovative video surveillance technology, as well as designing and manufacturing a full line of innovative CCTV and video surveillance products. Hikvision possesses the industry’s largest R&D team and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities; both allow Hikvision’s customers the benefit of world-class products that are designed with cutting-edge technology. Hikvision USA is a subsidiary of Hikvision Digital Technology Co., Ltd.

About Citizen Schools

Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams.


Media contact:

Alex Asnovich, Director of Marketing, Hikvision USA

312-576-1025, Alex.Asnovich@hikvision.com

From 6th Graders to CEOs

Citizen schoolsDo you remember when you first learned what a budget is? It probably wasn’t in school and it might not have been until you were presented with a situation where you needed to know how to manage one. Students are often unprepared to deal with the finances and economic realities they face as they enter adulthood. Even adults are often unaware of how to best manage their finances. Greg Crowe wants to change that. As a senior vice president at Wells Fargo and a veteran banker, Greg knew it was important to pass his financial knowledge onto his sons as they were growing up. “I knew I wanted to share this with more kids though. We’re faced with learning about financial planning when we get into the real-world. Young people can encounter difficulties if they don’t learn it at an early age. It’s not rocket science; it’s a lack of knowledge,” said Crowe.

This spring Greg is teaching the “Your Financial Future” apprenticeship to a class of sixth graders at Patrick Henry Middle School in Houston, TX. Students are learning the ins and outs of balancing a budget and are given real-world challenges each week.

“I wanted an authentic scenario as our basis for teaching the financial literacy curriculum,” said Greg. “We began with each student representing a four-member household. They were given a job, weekly salary, house, car, and set expenses. We outlined a one month cash flow, noting what funds were fixed and what was discretionary.”

He adds, “They also had options such as choosing a fancy car or a premium TV package. We then encouraged them to think of the future and see how much they could save if they planned ahead. The students quickly began to understand the purpose of a budget.”

By providing the students with relatable scenarios, they were already gaining the concept of planning and budgeting after the first few classes. They also apply their math skills during Greg’s weekly challenges. They have had to figure out gas allowances based on their weekly mileage, decide whether they could afford a trip to Disney World and plan for a weekly grocery shopping trip based on their needs and wants.

“My goal in teaching this course was go beyond teaching the students financial planning, but getting them to really think about spending and appreciating money rather than focusing on their desires like a new pair of shoes,” said Greg. “The students have a short attention span though so I try to use different tactics to emphasize the same point from a new angle.”

Half way through the semester, he transitioned the class from focusing on a family’s budget to a company’s budget. “In this scenario, each student is a CEO. Everyone has the same hypothetical company, which in our case is an oil company. We gave them a cash flow for the first three months of the year and projections of what’s to come in the next quarter and what’s happening in the industry.”

Greg took what was presented in their personal budget management and is creating new challenges as they further grasp the concepts. “We told the students that their cash flow is dwindling and they will be expecting a call from their banker soon concerning the repayment of a loan. The students have to think of ways to convince the banker that they will be able to repay the loan. They roleplay with one student playing the role of CEO and one as the banker in this challenge. They sit in the room negotiating, the banker gives objections, and the CEO has to confidently present three ideas to ultimately save the company,” said Greg.

The students are not only grasping essential financial concepts to apply to their personal lives and a business environment, but they are also practicing their math skills and learning negotiation tactics. The students will enter seventh grade already transformed into financial advisors, ready to help a family or company balance their finances utilizing their budgeting skills learned in the class. For their final challenge the students will advise their families, teachers, and peers on budgeting and planning for the future during their WOW! event next month.

Three Pre-Career Tips for Mentoring a Middle-Schooler

8th grade student networking with Boston area professional. Think middle school is too soon to prep for college? Think again. At Citizen Schools, we're working to close the opportunity gap by reaching students at the crucial time between 5th and 8th grade, providing academic support and real-world apprenticeships. That's why we recently helped bring together over sixty 8th graders for a networking event where they picked up practical tips and inspiration from working professionals. We followed along; here are three takeaways to help you mentor a young person.

Take risks Taking risks sounds like the obvious answer to getting out of your comfort zone. But the unknown can also be unnerving. The good news is that there are varying degrees of risk, and some low-risk chances can have a high reward. If you're shy, volunteering to answer a question and possibly having the wrong answer can feel like the end of the world. But diving in like that should be encouraged!

For another student, taking a risk may be signing up for a different class or sport. We all have our areas in which we excel more than others. Being flexible about trying new activities means that we can avoid tunnel vision and learn about new interests, and middle school is an especially great time to hone new skills as you consider the many potential opportunities and paths ahead.

Gain hands-on experience Academics aren't just intense study sessions at the library - they also include hands-on practice. For some students, academics include designing and coding a video game, and diversifying your academic portfolio can do a lot to impress college admissions staff. When college admissions are considering applications grades are only part of the equation. Proving you can think as well as do will give a certain edge over the competition.

Student test gel electrophoresis

This is why apprenticeships are key to Citizen Schools’ model to close the opportunity gap. By bringing in passionate professionals to teach practical applications of 21st century skills, not only do middle school students earn a marketable skill they may not have otherwise, but it will serve to expand their horizons. Even if students don’t become what they studied as a career down the line, they still opened doors to new professional horizons.

Ask Questions “Why is the sky blue?” “Why is ice cold?” “Why do tigers have stripes?” Anyone that has spent time with a young person knows that one of their favorite things to do is ask questions. Encourage students to keep curiosity alive by continuing to be inquisitive.

Great questions can include what you do for work, why you enjoy it, and what you wanted to be when you grew up. It’s ok to talk about both successes, and scenarios that offered lessons for improvement. The more students are exposed to different career profiles, the more they will feel comfortable stepping outside of their own comfort zones and shaping their own journey.

Modern life offers new challenges and stresses for young people, and mentor/mentoree relationships are powerful bridges between the professional world and our next great generation of thinkers, makers and doers. You can help start the conversation, and middle school is an especially good time to make that happen. And, it's a discussion that is relevant at any age! What advice would you share for someone starting out on this journey? Add your tips in the comments!

Find out more about changing student's lives with Citizen Schools.

Cognizant Employees Teaching Code

The Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education has stated that New Jersey will need to fill 269,000 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs by 2018. Cognizant Technology Solutions, a Citizen Schools partner, is helping alleviate this current STEM crisis through their employee volunteering program. This semester three Cognizant employees, Meeghan Salcedo, Siva Krishna Titti, and Shivani Mehta, will be leading Citizen Schools New Jersey’s coding apprenticeships at Chancellor Avenue Elementary School and Eagle Academy for Young Men with the hopes to inspire a next generation of STEM professionals in New Jersey. How do you think coding will benefit the students at Eagle Academy and Chancellor Avenue?

Meeghan: STEM studies are extremely important. This coding apprenticeship will not only teach the students how to code and what careers they can pursue in this field, but it will also broaden students’ horizons and expose them to a field not traditionally taught in [middle] school.

Shivani and student

Siva: Coding will definitely benefit the students. Technology is evolving every day, so it is good to have coding skills to contribute towards the next revolution in technology. Also, for me coding is fun; kids will enjoy the classes.

How is Cognizant's partnership with Citizen Schools helping build a strong workforce in the STEM industry?

Shivani: I believe that Cognizant's partnership with Citizen Schools is great for both. People from Cognizant, like myself, who want to contribute to their communities by sharing their knowledge, are now able to volunteer through the encouragement of our company, which is a valuable and fulfilling combination. Citizen Schools’ students are now being exposed to employees in the STEM industry which can help guide them with their skills as well as understanding what it means to work in the STEM industry. I hope that the students are being encouraged to achieve their dreams and goals by not only Cognizant volunteers, but all volunteers.

Meeghan: Cognizant’s partnership with Citizen Schools definitely helps lay the foundation for a strong STEM workforce. It is so vital to furthering technology that we encourage these studies at an early age. As a Cognizant associate, it is incredibly rewarding to help facilitate that.

Meeghan and her apprentice

Siva: Cognizant is one of the leading technology consulting organizations. With highly qualified and experienced workforce, we deliver innovative solutions to our customers across industries. When we teach at Citizen Schools we bring our experiences to the classes. This gives a realistic view of the industry to the kids, thus helping them understand the subject while relating to the real world.

During last semester’s Solar Cars apprenticeship, what changes did you see in your students in terms of skill development and/or confidence?

Shivani: In the beginning of the apprenticeship, we understood that the kids were bored with just listening to lectures and completing handouts, and they had a lot of energy throughout the hour and half classes. Because of this, we were able to engage them physically with games and smaller groups. This showed a great change in their confidence because each of us were then able to interact with the students one-on-one. By discussing with them their ideas and opinions, along with their questions and concerns, we were able to tackle challenges the students faced through discussions. Their confidence seemed to have increased towards the end of the apprenticeship. They were excited to learn as well as share with the class what they learned and even teach the rest of us by sharing their ideas. Their technical and innovation skills such as designing and prototyping the solar cars had improved with the aid of the "design process". This means there was a lot of iteration where the students designed, built, and adjusted based on the learning in class. We emphasized to them that failing is good because it

Siva and his apprentices

means they can learn from it and create or make something better over time and it definitely showed at the end of the semester. They also developed communication skills through the different activities and games we incorporated.

Over 130 Cognizant employees have volunteered in New Jersey since 2010. We thank all of the Cognizant Citizen Teachers for championing our students, our communities, and our program!

To learn more about Citizen Schools’ apprenticeships, please contact Ashley Drew, Civic Engagement and Operations Associate, at ashleydrew@citizenschools.org

Student Ideas Take Shape in 3D Printing Apprenticeship

When he was attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chris Haid and his friends spent what little spare time they had tinkering and building what would become the world’s first fully automated 3D printer. Years later, he is bringing this technology into middle school classrooms in Boston through a 3D printing apprenticeship with the company he co-founded, NVBOTS. 13928389447_9e35dfedab_z

Chris is the Chief Operating Officer of NVBOTs, handling daily operations, customer service, and ensuring manufacturing meets demand. He has broken his routine once a week for four semesters to volunteer as a Citizen Teacher. His goal is to teach middle school students how to design and build with a 3D printer.

Chris is helping to extend NVBOTS' impact with the installation of an NVPro 3D printer at McCormack Middle School in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The printer is stimulating creativity and providing hands-on learning for many students. It is “one of many” that will be installed in Boston middle schools through the company’s partnership with Citizen Schools.

We recognize Chris as the March Citizen Teacher of the Month for his dedication to teaching students and increasing student access to the state-of-the-art 3D printers!

Meet Chris…

What apprenticeships have you taught?

I teach an Introduction to 3D Printing Apprenticeship. We teach the students how to go through the design process. We help them decide what they want to create and sketch out what they want to design and print. Once we get them through the design process, we teach them how to 3D print the parts. They get to take it home the following week.

This is my fourth time around. We’ve done two classes per semester a couple times around.

Do you have a favorite WOW! moment? Did anything surprise you about the students?

I get to see them go home and come back the next week only to tell me that they got so interested in this 3D printing design that they went home and looked up new part designs. They’re coming up with new ideas on their own. That’s one of the biggest things for me.

Chris Haid keeps souvenirs of his apprenticeships on his desk.

Some students don’t see the path to get to higher education. That’s how a lot of students start off in the beginning of the class. They say “before I was uncertain about 3D printing and how to design everything.” And now they want to go to college for 3D printing.

That’s really heartwarming. Just seeing the kids get excited about engineering. They’re not constrained in life and they have every ability to create things and bring their own ideas to life. Our apprenticeship shows them they can do that and it’s not that hard. There’s failing but at the end of the day it’s about taking something in your mind and making it into reality.

Why do you think students should engage in hands-on learning?

I think all students have an idea of something they want to create, but they’re often constrained. They don’t have all of the necessary tools at their disposal, but once they see that they have the ability to make something,knowing that they can create those designs gives them confidence.

A student of Chris Haid's shows off 3D printed objects as he explains how they are made.

What advice do you have for new Citizen Teachers?

Get to know your students. Teach something you’re passionate about. Try to build a personal connection with the students and get to know them while still maintaining your role as teacher. That really help to keep the  students engaged.

Why should people volunteer to teach students?

I believe it’s the most important thing to do. The students will be living in the future we’re building and it’s important to arm them with the tools and abilities they need to make a difference.

One day I brought in a prosthetic hand and said, “I designed it but it could be better. This is an application of the tools I’m teaching you right now. That’s why we’re doing this, so we can help each other and make the world a better place.”

Learn more about volunteering with Citizen Schools here!

PRESS RELEASE: White House Welcomes Citizen Schools and DigitasLBi 5th Grade Apprentice as Honored Guest at National Science Fair

White House Welcomes Citizen Schools And DigitasLBi 5th Grade Apprentice As Honored Guest At National Science Fair

BOSTON—March 23, 2015—The White House will welcome Toni-Chanelle Suncar, a 5th grader from Browne Middle School in Chelsea, Massachusetts as an honored guest at the 5th Annual White House Science Fair. Toni-Chanelle will be recognized for her leadership skills while participating in a three-month apprenticeship with Citizen Schools, a leading national education nonprofit, and DigitasLBi, a global marketing and technology company.

Since 2013, DigitasLBi Boston employees have taught seven apprenticeships focusing on marketing, creative arts, and Raspberry Pi technology, which teaches students components of computers and basic programming.

Toni-Chanelle received guidance and mentorship from MacCalvin Romain, DigitasLBi’s Senior Tech Analyst, while learning fundamental elements of programming during the ten-week program. Utilizing SCRATCH, a tool developed by MIT to teach basic computer coding skills, Toni-Chanelle created “Flappy Unicorn,” a single player game. In this game, players earn points by progressing through an obstacle course and avoiding challenges along the way.  Toni-Chanelle developed programming skills that allowed her and her teammates to customize the game (game coloring, sound bites, and point structure), de-bug it as problems arise, and make changes in real-time.

The White House Science Fair hosts incredible inventions from some of America’s youngest scientists and engineers and will be live streamed on today, March 23 at 10am at wh.gov/science-fair.

The White House Science Fair will feature remarks from President Obama, and will give participants the opportunity to interact with other talented students, senior Administration officials, and leading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) communicators, advocates, and educators from across the country.

Hosted by President Obama, the Fair will feature innovative projects, designs, and experiments from students all across America. With students from a broad range of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competitions, this year’s Fair will also include a focus on diversity and inclusion in STEM fields.

About Citizen Schools

Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visithttp://www.citizenschools.org/

About DigitasLBi

DigitasLBi is a global marketing and technology agency that transforms businesses for the digital age. We help companies of all shapes and sizes decide What’s Next… and then we take them there. Also a top ten global agency, DigitasLBi is comprised of 6,000 digital and technology experts across 40 offices in 25 countries worldwide.
DigitasLBi is a member of Publicis Groupe, [listed on the Euronext Paris Exchange – FR0000130577 – and part of the CAC 40 index] the world’s third largest communications group. With approximately 60,000 professionals spanning 108 countries on five continents, Publicis Groupe offers local and international clients a complete range of communications services. http://www.publicisgroupe.com @PublicisGroupe

"You can do it!" Meet Robert France, January's Citizen Teacher of the Month

Citizen Teacher Bob France works with students. “I’m interested in bringing the best possible hands-on experiences to as many students as possible.” 

Robert France has seen first-hand that students learn best by experiencing something new, while being supported by a mentors who believe in them. Robert began teaching in 2013 after learning about Citizen Schools through his role at SanDisk as VP of Customer Technical Support. He teamed up with a couple of colleagues to teach robotics at Joseph George Middle School in San Jose, CA. “Team teaching is great: it provides more viewpoints for the students, coverage when someone is out, and the ability to maximize hands-on time, as one person can run the lesson while the others can set-up the activities, said Robert.

We recognize Robert as the January Citizen Teacher of the Month for his dedication to teaching students and belief that every student has potential! “I believe that if [we] can excite students and show them that they can do something new, maybe that is the nudge that will change that student’s path for the better.”

Meet Robert...

What apprenticeships have you taught?

My first class as a Citizen Teacher was in 2013 teaching robotics. I just finished preparing and teaching a class on 3D printing with my team. Each student got to go through the whole process from creating an idea, to modeling in CAD on the computer, and ultimately printing in the classroom on a printer. The two most popular colors were silver and glow in the dark!

Do you have a favorite WOW! moment? Did anything surprise you about the students?

There are so many great mental “snapshots”, it’s hard to pick just one. But one that stands out was when we started printing the first student-designed object in the classroom. 3D printers make a very distinct sound and the motion is mesmerizing. Seeing the class’ reaction was really priceless. I think the reaction was partly because it is just such a cool thing to experience. But partly I believe, at least for some, that that was the point where they understood that they really did it, from concept to reality.

Why do you think it’s important to provide students with hands-on opportunities?

I am a huge believer in learning by doing. There is no better way to build confidence as you gain proficiency. You also find that there are usually a couple of failures along the way, and that is okay, too.

During the 3D printing WOW!, I was watching the printer working away and listening quietly to one of the students explaining the process. He was showing and describing the layers in the object, not just reading off of the presentation board. It was really great to hear his explanation. But I was especially excited about the idea that these WOW! moments would continue for our students beyond their presentations, and this idea is a driving force for me.

I knew that after the class was over, every time one of the students showed their 3D printed object to someone, I could just imagine the person saying something great to them like, “It is so cool that you did that!” Because that is what this is all about for me – to show these students that they can do it. Sure some things you have to work at, but they are not beyond reach. The ability to extend the WOW! moment for as long as possible, to have as many WOW!s as possible, continues to reinforce the message: you can do it!

What is one piece of advice you have for new Citizen Teachers?

Believe in the students. Do not underestimate them. Pick something you love and challenge yourself to challenge them. If you are teaching a complex topic, it will take some work to make it age and grade level appropriate. But it also gives you the richest opportunity to make the experience engaging and challenging for your entire range of students. You have many resources to help you with this, partner teachers, other Citizen Teachers, colleagues – ask for help!

Why should others volunteer to teach with Citizen Schools?

Education changes lives. Confidence changes lives.  Working with students is fun, rewarding, and occasionally a little tiring trying to keep up with all those brains. Citizen Schools and SanDisk have partnered together to make it easy to spend a little time, invest a little energy and in return have an awful lot of fun sharing something you love with some very energetic, really special students. The Teaching Fellows manage the classroom part (thank you!) so you can focus on your topic. And who knows, maybe one day, you’ll get a second thank you note, that you did in fact make a difference in someone’s life. I hope I do!

PRESS RELEASE: Biogen Idec Foundation Pledges Additional Support to Citizen Schools to Advance STEM Education

CITIZEN SCHOOLS CONTACT: Holly Trippett, (617) 695-2300 x1161, Cell: (301)-452-3904, hollytrippett@citizenschools.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


The $1.5 Million Investment Will Allow the Organization to Scale Programming Nationally; Company named “National Innovation Partner”

Boston, MA– January 26, 2015—Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit organization that partners with public middle schools to expand the learning day for underserved students, today announced a new Biogen Idec Foundation grant to support its science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, and has named the Biogen Idec Foundation its first National Innovation Partner.

Based on a shared commitment to sparking students’ interest in science through hands-on experiences, the Biogen Idec Foundation will help launch the next phase of Citizen Schools’ national STEM strategy to improve and scale the hands-on apprenticeship model for STEM learning in Massachusetts and North Carolina and at the national level.

The $1.5 million, three-year investment will allow Citizen Schools to provide thousands of middle school students with real-world learning opportunities led by volunteer professionals and will also support a STEM curriculum development and a randomized evaluation by leading evaluation firm Abt Associates. The analysis will test whether providing STEM-focused apprenticeships leads to increased STEM interest and achievement in math and science for middle school students.

The Biogen Idec Foundation has supported Citizen Schools since 2008, providing more than $250,000 in grants to support the organization’s STEM apprenticeship programs in Boston, MA and Research Triangle Park, NC.

"The best way to engage students in the STEM subjects is by providing exciting, hands-on learning experiences with experts, like Biogen Idec scientists, who can show them what’s possible beyond the classroom,” said Steven Rothstein, CEO of Citizen Schools. "We are incredibly grateful for The Biogen Idec Foundation's support as we work to improve educational opportunities for students in low-income communities across the country."

“The Biogen Idec Foundation and Citizen Schools share an ongoing commitment to spark student’s interests in science through hands-on experiences and exposure to a variety of career pathways,” said Tony Kingsley, chairman of the Biogen Idec Foundation. “We are proud to serve as the first National Innovation Partner and work to improve educational opportunities and long-term success for underserved students.”

As a National Innovation Partner, the Biogen Idec Foundation will extend the innovative work of the Biogen Idec Community Lab from Massachusetts to North Carolina. The combination of Biogen’s unique apprenticeships, commitment to STEM curriculum, and rigorous evaluation is poised to transform Citizen Schools’ STEM programs.

Since 2008, 37 Biogen Idec employees have taught nine apprenticeships in Massachusetts and North Carolina. Biogen Idec-led STEM apprenticeships help students transform into junior scientists at the Community Lab. The students conduct experiments side-by-side with Biogen Idec scientists, using the same state-of-the-art equipment and tools that the scientists utilize to discover and create new medicine. The apprenticeships introduce students to practical applications of their academics and introduce careers they might not have known existed.

Citizen Schools partners with public middle schools nationally to expand the school day for children in underserved communities through academic mentoring and skill-building apprenticeships. The projects foster authentic learning experiences and are taught by volunteer professionals, or Citizen Teachers, who share their expertise and passions in engaging and innovative ways. Citizen Schools’ focus on math and science based apprenticeships are helping to improve math proficiency levels and ensure a more diverse 21st century workforce skilled in the STEM job sectors.

About Citizen Schools Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit http://www.citizenschools.org/.

About The Biogen Idec Foundation The Biogen Idec Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of peoples' lives and contribute to the vitality of the communities in which the company operates, with a special emphasis on innovative ways to promote science literacy and encourage young people to consider science careers. Additional information about the Biogen Idec Foundation can be found at: www.biogenidec.com/foundation


WalletHub's Charity Calculator Helps Determine How to Give

claudia headshotEveryone can give, and should. People often debate between giving time or money to an organization but don’t need to. “There is no trade-off, people can and do give both time and money as they are able, and both are rewarding,” says Claudia Alfaro, Vice President of External Engagement at Citizen Schools.

Claudia contributed her perspective, along with many other nonprofit leaders, as a part of WalletHub’s "Charity Calculator". Individuals who want to give but are unsure of how much or in what way can use the calculator to determine how to make the biggest impact.

The calculator weighs whether it is more advantageous to donate time or money depending on how much an individual earns annually.  It also presents examples of what one could donate if they worked an extra hour a week, such as the number of meals given to children facing hunger and the number of trees planted to protect wildlife (see infographic below).

Everyone can give in their own way and WalletHub’s calculator makes it even easier to determine what strategy is best for you.

wallethub charity cal


How I Helped Middle School Students Make a Difference in Their Community

This blog post was originally published on Cisco's Corporate Social Responsibility blog.

By Stephen Liem, IT Director, Global Quality and Support Services at Cisco

Stephen and his apprenticeship students at their end-of-semester WOW event, a Citizen Schools tradition where students teach back what they learned to teachers, parents, and community members.

There is no limit to what education can bring. It opens up many opportunities that otherwise may not be available.

In the past 10 weeks I‘ve had the privilege of teaching journalism to the middle school students in Joseph George School in East Jan Jose, California. Cisco has been partnering with Citizen Schools, a nonprofit organization, to deliver after school educational programs to low-income schools across the country.

Citizen Schools aims to prevent students from dropping out of high school through its Extended Learning Time (ELT) model, which provides after-school mentoring and support to low-performing middle schools. Volunteer professionals, or “Citizen Teachers,” teach 10-week after-school apprenticeships on topics they are passionate about, from blogging to filmmaking to robotics.

On average the schools Citizen Teachers visit do 300 hours less of after school programming compared to their counterparts. In East San Jose, where the graduation rate is at 79%, providing more meaningful educational programs has certainly helped not just the students themselves but also the community.

As a “Citizen Teacher” with the nonprofit Citizen Schools, Stephen Liem helped sixth graders create their own newspaper

In my journalism class, students in the sixth grade learned how to interview and collect data, how to write an article well, and how to express and publish their opinions honestly and truthfully. Collectively they decided on the name of the newspaper – the East San Jose News — and the subject of their stories.

The results were both eye opening and touching at the same time.

Erika and Tracy, for example, wrote that while they do not necessarily like to wear a school uniform, nevertheless it is important to wear one, because, “it protects you from gangs!” The story describes the reality they often must face outside of school, a reality that under normal circumstance they should not have to live with. It is a touching statement.

Christopher in the editorial section wrote about the importance of voicing your opinion to make a difference: “School could be cooler if you just speak up and ask for what you want. Sometimes your answer will be ‘no’ or ‘maybe,’ ‘just wait,’ or straight up “yes.’ But you will never find out unless you speak up and make your voice heard.” They may be in sixth grade, but the students absolutely understand that they can contribute to their community and they are ready to make that difference.

I enjoyed every minute I spent with my students. It was an educational process for me, but most important, I believe it was a tremendous educational experience for the students. In our country, where inequality in access to education and income disparity exist, I applaud Cisco and Citizen Schools’ effort to level the playing field for the sake of our future generation. I am glad that through Cisco, I have the opportunity to give back to my community.

Cisco employees are among Citizen Schools’ largest group of Citizen Teachers – 184 employees have taught 89 apprenticeships – and Cisco has provided more than $2 million in cash and product grants to the organization since 2009. Learn more about the partnership between Cisco and Citizen Schools.