Malik Powell is an AmeriCorps member serving at Oak Ridge Elementary School. Malik is a proud Sacramento native, and a graduate of Foothill High School Class of 2014. This month, Malik presented City Year Sacramento’s impact and service to the Sacramento City Council. He will be featured on KCRA’s Common Ground program about education in Sacramento on Saturday, March 21 at 6:30 pm.
Why are you doing a year of service?
I chose to serve to help prevent others from dropping out, which is what happened to many of my high school friends. Also, serving with City Year will help me to pay for education after high school, through the education award earned by all graduating AmeriCorps members at the end of their year of service.
Why did you apply to serve with City Year Sacramento?
Sacramento is the community I was raised in, and I have always felt the need to give back to it. Furthermore, I graduated from Foothill High School in the Twin Rivers Unified School District, which is the predominant school district in North Sacramento. I am hoping to share the good that City Year does with political figures in my old district so that one day City Year can help them reverse the alarming dropout rates in their high schools.
What keeps you energized to work with your students?
What keeps me energized through all the adversity my students and I have faced this year (besides LOADS of caffeine), is remembering that we are not alone in our struggles. No matter what, there are always about 60 people—the AmeriCorps members serving with me this year – who understand what I am going through, and who have been through something similar.
What are you interested in doing after City Year?
After I graduate from City Year, I am hoping to attend Sacramento State University and study psychology. I have also recently made the decision to apply to serve as an instructional aide in the Oak Ridge afterschool program. This will allow me to go to school, keep working, and continue to support my students, all at the same time.
How will City Year help you in your long term path?
City Year has affected my long-term path in many ways. Nothing in my life has prepared me for the real world like City Year has. It has taught me the importance of organization, timeliness, hard work, dedication, and best of all, it has taught me the joys of teaching and working with children. The skills and techniques that I have learned can be used in many aspects of my life after City Year. I am hoping that the relationships I have built and the impact I have made will last even longer.