After graduating from The College of New Jersey and earning a graduate degree at the University of Connecticut, Otto Katt knew he wanted to make a difference. Inspired by the Citizen Schools mission, he moved to Boston and began working with middle school students as a Teaching Fellow leading academic enrichment and interventions. After his two-year commitment, Otto decided the classroom was the place to continue his impact. He joined the 2012 Teach For America Charlotte corps and began leading his own middle school social studies class. His passion for education only grew, and he is now a Teach For America Capitol Hill Fellow, bringing his classroom experience to Washington, D.C.
Through another AmeriCorps program, Citizen Schools, 41 corps members act as teaching fellows in high-needs middle schools in Harlem and Brooklyn, where they also help mobilize community partners to volunteer, said Wendy Lee, executive director of Citizen Schools NY.
“Our entire operating model is based on having AmeriCorps service members in schools,” Lee said. If funding were cut, she said, “We’d either have to rethink staffing or rethink the way our model is delivered.”