By Grace Titgemeier
AmeriCorps member serving on the DC Scholars Stanton Elementary School team

When I applied to City Year, I pictured myself tutoring students and working alongside a teacher. Never in a million years did I think my service would put me on television! On Friday, October 2nd, I was interviewed by Comcast Newsmakers about my service with City Year, specifically my experience serving on the Stanton Elementary School team.

As the morning of the interview arrived, I became more and more nervous. DC was experiencing heavy rain with a hurricane approaching. When I arrived, all I could remember was to ask for Veronica Santos, who took me under her wing until I went on air. After spending some time with Ms. Santos, my nerves subsided and my confidence increased. Here I was in a news studio about to talk about my passion for service and what I believe to be one of the coolest organizations around. How could life get any better than this?

Before the interview, I was whisked away into hair and makeup, which was unexpected but so fun. Our Executive Director, Jeff Franco, joked, “When was the last time you got your hair and makeup professionally done?” My answer was never! I felt like a celebrity.  Once I was beautified, it was off to the interview. People were hurrying around me scrambling for their things. As our Events Associate, Cat Nguyen, walked me into the room and coached me one last time, I felt a sense of numbness. I quickly noticed Yolanda Vazquez, my interviewer, was sitting in her seat and ready to go. I went up to her with a smile on my face and shook her hand. For the first five minutes before filming, Ms. Vazquez prepped me on the questions she would ask, which was my final mini rehearsal. Then, the countdown began: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

Five minutes have never flown by as quickly as they did for me during the interview. Afterward, I felt like I was on top of the world. Every positive emotion was running through my body. As I left the studio, I was so happy. Growing up, my parents have always enforced in me the idea that an education is one of the most powerful tools one has to determine one’s success. It was amazing to have the opportunity to be interviewed about that.

Once I traveled back to Stanton and walked into my classroom, my scholars were so confused as to who had just walked in. My kindergartners didn’t recognize me with all that makeup on! However, once I explained that I had been on the news, they all thought that I was a famous movie star.

It was empowering to be on Comcast Newsmakers and to promote City Year in any way possible. Additionally, my interview gave me more motivation to do my job even better and to continue to support my kindergartners as best I can. After this experience, I now recognize even more that it is a privilege to serve.

Click here to register for Make a Difference Day and click here to view Grace's full interview! 

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