Moyosore Akintunde, an AmeriCorps member at Great Oaks Charter School – Wilmington, talks about the challenges of serving in the Great Oaks Fellows
6:30 AM. My alarm gently wakes me up out of my 7-hour slumber and quite frankly, for a second I dread the thought of pulling myself out of my warm bed and into the Delaware cold. It’s enough to make me want to call out. I get dressed and along the way, I think of yesterday’s laughs with my students and with that thought, I dart out the door. Headphones in, hands-in-pockets – I make the brisk walk to 12th and French, passing familiar Wilmington faces along the way. Clocked in for 7:30 am, I enter Great Oaks Charter School and prepare myself for what the day may bring.
I had the privilege of serving as a fellow at Great Oaks from 2016-2017 and that by far was the most rewarding, stressful, and beautiful year up-to-date. There’s something so special about working with young minds and helping them to see how great they can truly be. Many of my students taught me a major lesson that as a professional, I continue to use up until this day: Things happen but life WILL go on, even when it seems like it won’t. They taught me the true meaning of displaying love… even at my wits end. Regardless of what any child has faced in their life, they are deserving of patient, loving, dedicated educators that will help them tap into the amazing potential they already possess.
I once had a student sipping on Fiji water in class. I noticed “Jesus’ Tears” was written all over the bottle and when asked for the meaning, I was told, “this water is too expensive so it might as well be the tears of Jesus.” From jokes, to roasts on me, I found myself laughing even at times when I didn’t want to. The students that I came across were some of the funniest, most clever 6th and 7th grade students I’ve ever met.
I have found that the job did not end with time of service at Great Oaks and I’m grateful for that. I’m in contact with many of my students and their parents, a joy that cannot be quantified. I’m sure this post doesn’t even come close to capturing how phenomenal my time at Great Oaks Wilmington was. Becoming a fellow changes you for the better and everyone around you becomes your 2nd family. To the students of GO-Wil, Thank YOU for teaching me.