Reflections on Our AmeriCorps Members

July 28, 2015

It’s hard to believe we are about to wrap up our first year of the NESS SEA AmeriCorps program! Almost one year ago we welcomed our first class of 7 NESS SEA AmeriCorps members to embark on a year of service to the students of New London. As I reflect on this incredible year, there are many notable achievements that stand out.

Throughout the course of the year, our AmeriCorps team collectively contributed over 1,000 hours of classroom support, tutoring and mentoring at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School (BDJMS). By being fully immersed in BDJMS, we created stronger relationships with the STEM teachers, staff and most importantly the students. Our team was able to help students who were struggling academically get caught up in their classes, which increased their confidence and allowed them to improve their grades.

In addition to serving at BDJMS during the school day, our members created and implemented more than 40 unique, STEM-based lessons as part of our extended learning program. The students who participated in our program became more confident, tried new activities, became better stewards to the environment and had an amazing time doing it all thanks to the hard work and dedication of the members.

I could certainly continue listing all of our AmeriCorps members’ accomplishments but I think it is best said in the words of the students whom our members served during their year of service. We recently asked some of the students in our program to describe how NESS has helped them and what they will miss about the AmeriCorps members. One student said, “You guys really helped me know to never give up on what I want to do.” Two others said, “Having this experience allowed me to go out of my comfort zone and prepare me for different situations later on,” and “You made my year, you guys were some of my best friends and I will miss you guys so much.”

Casey, Mary, Naomi, Helen, Cody, Kayla and Anna, we are so proud of your accomplishments! You have all impacted the lives of countless students with your passion and knowledge. The experiences you have given to the students of New London will be remembered long beyond your time with NESS.