By Dayana Preval, AmeriCorps member serving on the CSX team with Mattahunt Elementary School

My ideal community is where people come together for the greater good of humanity. As a community, we bring our experiences together, in order to contribute to society, as role models. In this community, there’s structure. Everyone is held accountable for their contribution. All links are connected, in order to effective. So what makes my school’s community special?  

For starters, the Mattahunt staff is the definition of superheroes. Each day, they walk in with purpose to support our students. Everyone genuinely wants the students to do well and exceed in life. At the Mattahunt we embrace culture, which involves respecting each individual for who they are, and where they come from. The principal, Ms. Genteen Jean-Michel, is dedicated to the Mattahunt community.

I’ll never forget the day when I was having a conversation with her, and I said something about “your school.”

She quickly interrupted me and said, “No, it’s our school.” From that moment, I felt a sense of belonging throughout the school. The heavy involvement of people beyond my teammates in our extended day programs, parent engagement events, and monthly themed events, makes the Mattahunt feel like a truly interconnected community.  

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