Years Served: 2012, 2013
Current Occupation: Student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
Fun Fact: Isabel was one of the first corps members spotlighted in City Year’s #makebetterhappen campaign!
City Year (CYB): What is your proudest moment from your service year?
Isabel Barros (IB): In my second year, Interim Senator Mo Cowan came to visit our school. A few corps members, our Program Manager, students, and the principal came together for a discussion. I remember students going around and discussing their experience with City Year and corps members, [including] a student from my class the previous year. It was an emotional time to hear how the students felt about us and what we did for them--just to hear how much the City Year community and our service meant to them. We ended up all crying at the end of it! It was just beautiful, because you never get to hear how students really feel about City Year and how it’s changed them. We got to see how they felt…it was very authentic and real.
CYB: Can you describe your transition from City Year to your current career path?
IB: Leaving City Year, I knew I wanted to go back to school but wasn’t ready yet. I wanted to explore a little bit. I knew I wanted to stay in education but wasn’t sure about teaching or something else—like a counselor or another staff person in a school. I needed to figure out how I wanted to stay in the school community. I found Year Up because of a student [at Burke High School] who mentioned they were doing the program after graduation. I researched it more and thought it would be a good fit, since I could teach and figure out if that was the right role. I got to teach at Year Up and loved it, but I felt like the most impact I was having was outside of the classroom at both Year Up and City Year. I wanted to connect and build relationships outside the classroom, but I needed a degree and a license from graduate school.
I heard about the program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education from people at City Year [who] thought it might be the perfect fit for me. [Now] I have an internship that’s been a lot of fun and learning, and I’m coming back next year to get my license. Then hopefully I get a position with Boston Public Schools as a school adjustment counselor!
CYB: What are you looking forward to most about your future career path?
IB: I’m most looking forward to being able to stay in education and with students, and to stay in service as well. I feel like City Year instilled service in me and made it a large part of my life—giving back, volunteering, and being a part of the community. My corps years taught me how to be a part of a community and get to know the people inside and outside of it—and how to make greater connections.