Served: City Year Boston 2014 and 2015, on the Westfield Capital Management Team at the Mildred Avenue K-8 School
Current Occupation: Math Associate at Achievement Network
Fun fact: I’m allergic to poultry!
City Year Boston (CYB): What first attracted you to City Year?
Tyler Miguel (TM): Definitely the initial Open House, which I attended after I got an email from my college career services office. I thought “give a year. change the world.” was a bold slogan—and from the website I could see the organization’s passion and what the service was about. This was right around the Boston Marathon bombings, which was an emotionally high time in Boston, and being there for the Boston community resonated with me. I saw the importance of serving students in schools but also the Boston community as a whole.
CYB: What is your proudest moment from your service year?
TM: There are a few—but I’ll try to narrow them down! Hands down, during my corps year, it was working with one of my students who was the ideal image of improvement and working hard and getting what she wanted. She constantly had setbacks but was really resilient and persevered. She ended up with one of the highest scores in math, and was excited for math and school in general. That was one of my proudest moments as a corps member. I actually just saw the data for the Mildred’s most recent PARCC assessment, and they led Boston Public Schools in student growth in both ELA and Math. And compared to all K-8 schools in Massachusetts, the Mildred was second in student growth in ELA and fourth in Math. It’s amazing how with some extra support and a lot of dedicated people (teachers, administrators, and external partners), the school saw such growth in such a short amount of time.
CYB: Tell me about a major challenge you faced during your service year and how you overcame it.
TM: During my corps year, something that I found really challenging was trying to integrate into the community, and build that trust with teachers, students and the school community. But it’s so important for our service—since people are coming from all over the country and from different backgrounds, we need to start on a strong foundation. We overcame that as a team. We learned that it’s about meeting people and understanding who they are, and building relationships with them. […] Over time the students understood that we were not just invested in the school but in the community, too, and their families.
CYB: Describe your transition from City Year to your current career.
TM: Achievement Network (ANet) works in schools very similar to the ones City Year serves, and is trying to close the achievement gap through data driven interventions. Achievement Network was at the Mildred Ave, and I worked with the coaches there during my service. I took the data driven approach I learned from my service with City Year, and was drawn to ANet. We take a lot of data, both quantitative and qualitative, and apply that to inform schools as they make instructional decisions. We help school leaders hone in on ‘the why’ around instructional shifts, and materials used in Math and ELA. We help school leaders see those shifts, and see the outcomes of those decisions and any changes made. Being able to interpret data and make informed changes was one of the most valuable things I took from City Year to ANet.
CYB: Why did you decide, as a recent alum, to stay engaged with City Year and join the Alumni Board?
TM: I had a phenomenal experience serving with City Year and alongside the people in it—both my fellow corps members and others (like staff, external partners, and alumni) who were invested in my success. I decided to return to help make that possible for today’s corps members. Having alumni support, from those who have actually gone through the experience and can provide insight, mentoring, and networking opportunities—that’s huge. I stay involved because I hear from other alumni that they would help a current corps member, and I know there are a ton of corps members who need support, but people aren’t always sure how to do that. Connections haven’t always been made and opportunities might have been missed. We need to foster current connections so we can avoid that in the future, and build a stronger City Year and alumni community together. Alumni with ideas can email me at any time!