Paige is a proud AmeriCorps member serving on the Everbank Team at the Young Men's Leadership Academy at Eugene Butler Middle School. If you like Paige's story, follow her on Twitter @_paigenicolette.
What were you doing before City Year?
"I graduated from Savannah State University Spring 2013 and began working at a restaurant in downtown Savannah."
Why did you choose to serve?
"I chose to serve because I want to forever be a change agent in society. I want to inspire others to achieve and never give up on their dreams. I want to be a voice for those who feel that they have none. I want to show love especially to those who feel that they do not deserve it. Service has become my life. Putting Idealinsm to Work #179: Become Your Message."
How have you been challenged?
"I have been challenged in many ways but one of the most challenging parts of my service experience is not being able to meet the needs of all of my students."
City Year culture is a big part of your service year. What was your favorite culture piece. Why?
"My favorite culture pieces are the PITW's because they help inspire and motivate me throughout my service experience. I also love Power Greeting. I think that Power Greeting is a great way to demonstrate pride and happiness within the school."
How have you been personally impacted?
"City Year has incredibly impacted my life. The experience I have had is one that I will never forget. I have learned so much more about myself over the past year than I did in my four years of college. Serving with City Year, I have discovered what I am truly passionate about, which is helping others who are less fortunate and in particular kids. I find joy in helping my students succeed and feel good about themselves. City Year has allowed me to do that and I am forever thankful. This experience is so humbling. I don't regret any sacrifice or any difficult time that I have had because I know that during the mist of my own struggle, I was helping someone."
How do you know you've made an impact?
"I know that I have impacted my school and students when I come to school after a day off and the students and faculty members at my school noticed that I was missing. By them showing love and being concerned assures me that I have a place in my school. Also, when my students come to me excited about their grade improvements or gains on a test lets me know that I am impacting their lives in some way. As a whole, I want my students to know that there is a life outside of their community. They don't have to settle or be anything less than what they want to be. They can be great! So through engaging conversations, acts of kindness and leadership I feel that I am making progress."
If happiness was the national currency, what kind of job would make you rich?
"If happiness was the national currency, my ideal jobs would be the founder/owner of many homeless shelters and youth organizations that cater to underprivileged teens."