My name is Caroline Bobrick and I’m excited to serve with City Year New Hampshire for the 2017-18 school year. I’m from upstate New York and am currently finishing my second year at the University of Delaware where I am majoring in Biology with intentions to become a secondary biology teacher.
I’ve been interested in committing myself to a year of service since eleventh grade when I learned about the Peace Corps from one of my teacher’s daughters. Despite this interest, I felt that a year of service did not fit into my plan to become a veterinarian. When I enrolled in the University of Delaware, I thought I had my entire life figured out. I was going to complete my undergraduate education, go to vet school, and then enter the workforce as a large animal vet.
However, one month into my studies as a pre-vet major I realized that, while I loved animals and was interested in science and medicine, this was not the right career path for me. Realizing that I no longer wanted to be a vet—my dream job, since I was five, I have decided I want to be a biology teacher. Pursuing this new career path combines my interest in science with the ability to positively impact the lives of children. I’m able to graduate in three years and am replacing what would have been my junior year with a year of service with City Year. Realizing that I didn’t actually have my life as figured out as I thought when entering college helped me to reevaluate my priorities and realize that a year of service can not only fit into my life plan, but also help me to grow as an individual and have a meaningful impact in the lives of others.
I was particularly drawn to City Year because of the organization’s belief in the power of education to help every student reach their full potential. I come from a family of teachers, and they have always placed a high value on the importance of education and the doors a good education can open. I was lucky to attend a small public school where I was able to form close relationships with my teachers. Looking back, I credit a large part of my success in school to these relationships. My teachers were always there to steer me back on track and to help me with problems in and out of the classroom. I recognize that most students don’t have classes with ten students, like I had, where a close relationship is inevitable. Serving as a near-peer mentor, I’ll be able help bridge the gap between teachers and students and help students feel individually valued.
I’m looking forward to the impact that I’ll be able to have while serving with City Year. At college I’ve tutored students in writing and science, but find that with short-term tutoring it can be difficult to have a measurable and lasting impact. I tutor students at the University Writing Center, and I often work with students who struggle to write complete sentences and use proper grammar, let alone write a complete essay. In just one hour long tutoring session, I can’t fix the fundamental problems with writing that many students have, and I end sessions like these wishing there was a way for these struggling students to receive long-term assistance so that they could improve their writing as a whole, not just in completing one essay. By serving for an entire school year with the same students, I hope that I’ll be able to feel a sense of fulfilment from being able to see progress throughout the year.
While I’m looking forward to all aspects of City Year, I am particularly excited about being involved in after school activities because there is more to education than the school day. After school programs help students feel more independent, involved, and make learning more fun. These programs can also boost students’ self-confidence by demonstrating that success doesn’t have to be measured only by a grade. When I was in school I found that after school activities were one of the best ways to feel connected to the school staff and to get to know them better. Some of my favorite memories of k-12 happened after school and I’m looking forward to being part of these experiences for Manchester’s current students.