This morning Jakob shared his story with the guests of our 2nd Annual Deloitte Corporate Breakfast. His words helped fill the room with an understanding the impact City Year is making. Read his story below:
My name is Jakob Rosenberg and I’m 23 years old from the Austin, Texas and I’m proudly serving as the Team Leader for the 49ers Foundation Team at Clyde L. Fischer Middle School. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University. I’ve known I wanted to serve a year of national service ever freshman year of college. I see a lot of things in our country that I don’t think are just. I serve because I want to take action and do something, instead of talking or complaining about it. Our youth will one day shape the world. I want to make sure they’re ready for that challenge and are educated to do so positively.
The question I get asked most frequently is how I know I’m making a difference. There are two students during my first corps year last year that really made me realize the impact City Year has. Jose was a new student at Fischer last year who didn’t have many friends. He was in our City Year after-school program and it didn’t take long for him to look up to us as role models. He would even pretend to be a Corps Member, printing out the City Year logo at the library and putting it on his own uniform. He would talk about all the ways he was going to help promote peace and help others. He soon started to make new friends too. What struck me the most was the letter he gave me on the last day of school that stated how he’ll never forget me, how much we made a difference in his life, and as Jose said, “I know what to be like when I grow up.” This really showed me how we can be such positive role models for our students.
Besides being role models on campus, City Year’s primary focus is providing academic coursework support in English and Math. I worked with a 6th grade student struggling in math named Carlos. Carlos began the year receiving a 25% on his math benchmark test and after working with him four times a week for a whole year, Carlos ended up receiving a 80% on his final math benchmark exam. Carlos showed he wasn’t a 25% student, he can reach the goals we made, and he can do what he puts his mind to.
The reason why I’m serving a second year as a Team Leader was because I love the work we do, I know how important it is, and, personally, I wanted to grow and develop myself professionally. I’ve already had opportunities to do this through leading 13 Corps Members who were in my boots last year, observing and giving feedback, as well as ensuring our after-school program runs without fault.