By Yessica Garcia, AmeriCorps Member, Harvard Pilgrim and Riverstone Co-Sponsored Team,
Serving at Beech Street Elementary School

Now that the season of giving has come to end, reflection is a process that allows individuals to grow. Before the holiday season the Beech Street Team had the opportunity to work with Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare to continue modeling the season of giving. Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare is dedicated to improving the quality and value of health care for the people and communities as a whole. In 2013 Harvard Pilgrim distributed more than $550,000 towards 600 organizations to help improve communities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

After asking Ashley Hackett, Community Involvement Specialist, why Harvard Pilgrim Co-Sponsors a City Year New Hampshire team, her response was, “Harvard Pilgrim Health Care knows good health and academic success go hand-in-hand. That is why we are proud to stand with City Year in Manchester to work to target key schools in the city so all students receive quality, individualized education and stay on track to graduate. We are proud to support a team of corps members who are serving full-time as mentors and tutors in the lowest performing schools in the city and doing their part to lower the high school drop-out rates by working with hundreds of students with academic, behavioral and attendance support.” It is enlightening to see that Harvard Pilgrim and City Year share a similar vision.

On December 11, the staff at Harvard Pilgrim welcomed the Beech Street Team to pay it forward and give our partner teachers care packages. During our service with Harvard Pilgrim we split up into groups and assembled care packages for our partner teachers. Hackett said, “teachers are the unsung heroes of our education system. Many work long hours and pay for materials out of their own pocket so that their students have the resources needed to help them succeed. When deciding what type of service projects to execute for our annual Harvard Pilgrim Holiday Service Event, it seemed only appropriate to create care packages to benefit the hard working teachers at our City Year partnered school, the Beech Street Elementary.” The service we completed at Harvard Pilgrim on December 11 felt meaningful and important. Everyone we met was very welcoming and friendly. 

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