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#FellowshipFriday — Meet GO Legacy’s Crystal Clarke

#FellowshipFriday — Meet GO Legacy’s Crystal Clarke

What did you study in school? Why?

I studied Mathematics in college. I studied Mathematics because I have always had a passion for learning about the subject and finding different approaches to solving problems.

What made you commit to a year of service?

I knew that committing a year of service would give me an opportunity to get involved and assist with impacting the lives of students who I felt I could closely relate with. My number one goal is to be a role model and be “that person I needed when I was younger”. Committing to a year of service has been one of the most rewarding years of my life and has allowed me to grow as a young professional.

Is this different from your own educational experience growing up?

Growing up my experiences were similar. I grew up in Jersey City, which is an urban community that did not have the same resources that may have been offered in a suburban community. However, Great Oaks is different from my educational experience because students are offered the ability to build relationships with Fellows. Growing up I would have been very grateful to have an additional person that was dedicated to my success.

How would this model have helped you?

I believe this model would have helped me demonstrate a higher level of academic success and I would have been able to visualize that being a diligent worker would better prepare me for college success and life as a college graduate.

What past experiences helped prepare you for this role?

Throughout my entire life, I had always took it upon myself to share the knowledge I had with my peers. I have been mentoring for as long as I could remember. Outside of the classroom, I have also worked as a private mentor for different topics of Mathematics.

What keeps you motivated day in and day out?

The idea that I am contributing to something more than students being able to analyze and understand their work. Being able to contribute to the urban education movement to reduce the achievement gap for urban students, helps me realize I am part of a bigger education goal of equal education for all. Having the idea that my parents came to this country to ensure that I had a quality education motivates me to encourage students that no matter where you come from you can succeed. Without a doubt my parents are my biggest motivators and they have inspired me to inspire my students to take advantage of the opportunities that can arise when you value education.

What events/interactions have inspired you this year?

Without a doubt the best interactions that have inspired me this year have been the amount of support I have received from other Fellows. I joined the school year later than other Fellows and from the time I began mentoring, I have always been uplifted and encouraged to step out of my comfort zone by other Fellows. There was something about the reassurance that with true diligence and patience that made me feel inspired and proud to be a Fellow at Greats Oaks.

What are your plans post AmeriCorps?

Post AmeriCorps, I plan on pursuing the career that I have always aspired. I plan on being a Mathematics teacher. I know that my role in Education is not finished yet, and there is still so much that I would like to accomplish.

How would you like to see the Fellowship model grow?

I would like to see the Fellowship model grow through an expansion of mentoring that is offered for every core subject. I believe that mentoring being offered for a variety of subjects would allow for students to gain a better understanding on topics outside of Mathematics and English Literature.