Hello, my name is Brian Word-Sims. I am 18 years old and from Asheville, North Carolina. I served at Bakersville Elementary School in a 5th grade classroom with my partner teacher Ms. Eagen. I have grown and learned so much throughout my time at City Year in so many different ways. When asked to reflect upon my year of service it is hard to pinpoint specific ways I have grown or changed. Especially as a high school graduate, taking this gap year has taught me a lot both relating to service, and personally.
Although I attended boarding school for 4 years and have had a taste of independent living, learning to live completely independently, paying rent and bills, and preparing every meal has been excellent experience and taught me some essential skills I will need in the future. I have learned and grown as a teammate, working with older co-workers, and developed the skills to work in such an environment. This year of service has shown me my passion for working with children, my love for service, and shown me how much I can truly handle. Working with these students has been a wonderful gift, and even though the goal of City Year is to help them, I am taking away so much from my year of service.
Brian’s Impact Manager, Tyler Wands, adds, “From the very start of the year, Brian's commitment to his students was apparent. Brian was in a class of 22 fifth graders, some of whom have already begun to take on many responsibilities we would expect out of an adult. As such, being a kid was almost a thing of the past for many them. This did not deter Brian, along with the support of his partner teacher, from showing their students how much fun it is to be a kid. Brian helped to make school a friendly and welcoming place, where the stressors of life can be dropped at the door.
As Brian's manager, I have had the privilege to see Brian become more comfortable being a member of the team without worrying about being the youngest member of his team. Brian came into City Year with many skills, which he has not only strengthened through his year of service but has added a whole new set of tools in his metaphorical tool box. Expect great things from Brian Word-Sims!”