by Juliette Rocheleau, Senior AmeriCorps Member serving on the Capital Area United Way team at Capitol Middle School

Last night, City Year Baton Rouge celebrated our Annual School House Rock Gala presented by Bain Capital and ExxonMobil! The event honored the combined effort for education equality here in Baton Rouge and across the nation. We were privileged to honor the Albemarle Foundation for their support and belief in our City Year AmeriCorps members proudly serving across six schools in the East Baton Rouge Public School System. Thank you to all our City Year champions who joined us for the event, including our City Year Baton Rouge advisory board members, our Lead Partners, East Baton Rouge Public School System, and Volunteer Louisiana, as well as our Team and Site Sponsors: Albemarle Foundation, The Capital Area United Way, Entergy Louisiana, New Schools for Baton Rouge, The Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation and the Lamar Advertising Company.

Gala guests were welcomed to the event (how else?!) by enthusiastic CYBR AmeriCorps members power greeting and high fiving to get by.

City Year Baton Rouge advisory board members Lori Bertman, Jennifer Eplett Reilly, Gala Honoree representing the Albemarle Foundation Sandra Holub, CYBR Executive Director Laura Hamm, and advisory board member Gwen Hamilton on the red carpet.

CYBR AmeriCorps members circled to prepare for the event. 

CYBR Alumna Sara Ross sat down with former student Patrick Carter to discuss how having a City Year presence in school has affected his education today. Sara served in the 2011-2012 school year at Broadmoor Middle School where she met sixth grade Patrick. Patrick is now at Belaire High School and on track to graduate! 

AmeriCorps members (from left to right) Ajita Harrison, Tavidee Hoskins, and Christine Fuentes shared stories about their impact working with high achieving students. Christine spoke about working with third grader Neicy, whose first language is Spanish. Christine used her Spanish skills to work with Neicy, who moved from scoring below proficient to proficient on her recent state assessment in math. 


Sean Doherty, Managing Director and General Counsel of national presenting sponsor Bain Capital, spoke about Bain’s long term investment in City Year and the innumerable rewards of reaching students across the country.

Honoree Sandra Holub, Executive Director of the Albemarle Foundation, gracefully accepted her red jacket from Tavidee Hoskins, first year corps member serving on the Albemarle Foundation team at Merrydale Elementary School. 

CYBR closed the evening’s program with the Annual Night Of Ask, where the generosity of the Baton Rouge community is strong. 

Congressman Garret Graves from Lousiana’s 6th district, applauded the CYBR 2014-2015 AmeriCorps members for committing this year of their lives to service.

To celebrate a night spent with champions and supporters, School House Rock 2015 ended with a dance party!

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