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AmeriCorps Week 2023: Alumni Spotlight 

We tell our current members all the time that AmeriCorps service with Colorado Youth for a Change is a great first step in a teaching career and as we celebrate AmeriCorps Week this week, we’re excited to share the story of an alumna who is now teaching! 

Bella served with Reading Corps at Bella Romero Academy during the 2021-2022 school year. Following her year of service, Bella was then hired on as an instructional aide for grades K-3 at Bella Romero. We checked in with Bella this month to hear how AmeriCorps service with CYC affected her career path and changed her life. 

How did AmeriCorps help you on your career path and in your current career?

Before serving as an AmeriCorps reading tutor, I didn’t know that I wanted to work with kids. Throughout my time as a reading tutor, I had such a memorable experience helping students improve their reading skills. I loved building relationships with the students and being a part of their journeys. Seeing each student progress in their skills was such a rewarding experience. I loved this so much that it helped me realize that I wanted to work with kids as my career. Talking to my coach also inspired me to work with students, because she believed in me so much that she encouraged me to think about a career in teaching. She even advocated for me to have a job at the school, which is where I now work. All of this would not be possible without AmeriCorps and CYC.

What do you think is the importance of AmeriCorps?

AmeriCorps and Reading Corps are important because they directly impact the lives of the students we serve. Reading is such a vital and crucial life skill. Learning how to read is something that you cannot live without. I love that AmeriCorps makes reading a fun experience and really focuses on helping students develop a positive experience with reading, and even helps them overcome anxieties and fears with reading.  

What advice would you give to people thinking about serving with AmeriCorps?

If you are thinking about serving with AmeriCorps at CYC, I would tell you to do it! Serving with CYC was one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences of my career, and I would not change it for the world. Being part of your students’ journeys is such a special thing. AmeriCorps prepares you not only to be a reading tutor but also prepares you for life after AmeriCorps. 

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