College: La Salle University
What do you do? At De Marillac Academy, I serve as the Academic Resource Teacher, working with grades 4-8. I work with our students who have documented learning needs and help to identify those who need further academic or behavioral assistance.
What would you say to a friend from home who questioned why you chose to live with the Brothers?
I continually get the question of “why do you choose live with the Brothers?” My response is simple! For two years I have had the opportunity to grow and learn with over 200 years of combined teaching experience under my own roof! I come home each night and I am surrounded by heartwarming laughter and debriefing of the day’s events. They are truly the best community members.
Being a college senior is an exciting, but also a scary time in one’s life. There are so many uncertainties that come with graduation. The LV program is a wonderful way to transition into the working world. The support and compassion the LVs experience from the staff, community and service sites makes a huge difference in your first year as a working adult.
Why would you recommend that prospective donors make a contribution to Lasallian Volunteers?
The LVs are blessed with the contributions made by many donors so that we may serve and live without worrying about the funds it takes to support us. The retreats and year-round support would never happen without the generous contributions of our wonderful donors.
I am blessed to continue with the Lasallian family for the next academic year as I transition out of my LV experience and have been hired on to continue serving my students at De Marillac Academy. I would have never been able to have this opportunity if I was not a Lasallian Volunteer. I look forward to taking the lessons and values I have learned from being an LV and applying it to the next stage in my life!
Have you noticed any signs of success in your work?
My service at DMA is working with students who may feel like they have tried everything and they still don’t “get it.” They may not have the skills in their toolbox that they need to feel successful. And this is why I love my service. I meet my students where they are. I meet them when they are frustrated, confused, silly, and confident. I provide them the tools that will ensure their success. My goal for them is to understand their strengths and challenges, and self-advocate for what they need. I see success when my students are able to come to me with work of which they are proud, or with something that challenged them before and now they just “get it.”
The Brothers I live with are literally the best people in the world (but I may be biased). My Bros are kind, driven, humble and compassionate. They are living examples of our founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle. I cannot even count the number of times I threw out the lesson I had planned for the next day because one of the Brothers gave me advice about how to approach it differently. They ask me each night how my students are, naming them and caring for them like their own. My involvement with the Brothers has made me a better teacher, but, more importantly, has made me a well-rounded individual.
What is the most important “thing,” do you think, that your students need from you?
As my two years of being a Lasallian Volunteer and the Resource Teacher at DMA come to an end, I have reflected upon what I provide for my students. I provide them with things like academic support, test taking strategies, and guidance for taking notes. But at the end of the day, this is not what they value most from me as a teacher. After I am done teaching, I always shake the students’ hands and tell them I am proud of them. Every day, I witness success, no matter how big or small, and I feel it is crucial for them to be aware of their growth. Every student should know that someone is proud of them and that they are making a difference.