I came to Citizen Schools to earn my English Language Arts (ELA) single subject teaching credential in a supportive, hands-on setting. I was also extremely interested in working with 6th graders in apprenticeships; I remember developing my interest in art and poetry during my middle school years, and I pursued those disciplines in college. Having invested teachers who provided one-on-one mentoring helped me pursue my dreams. When pre-teen children have reliable adults who encourage them to pick up a paintbrush, go to a poetry reading or start their own business, they are more likely to succeed. I feel grateful that I can carry on that torch and foster creativity and self-confidence in my students.