On a sunny September afternoon, Kristian “Sunshine” Rice pledged alongside 70 new AmeriCorp members to serve, and to dedicate the next year of her life to making a difference for students in Detroit Public Schools.
City Year Detroit’s AmeriCorp members are serving nearly 5,000 students in seven Detroit schools, increasing the ratio of adults to students in the highest-need areas, and providing individualized attention and support. AmeriCorp members work with teachers and principals to identify students who need extra care and attention, and focus on attendance, behavior and course performance – the ABCs – to help students stay in school and on track to succeed. Research that suggests the students most at risk of dropping out can be identified as early as sixth grade. City Year knows that a student who makes it to 10th grade on track and on time is four times more likely to graduate.
As a graduate of Detroit School of Arts and Wayne County Community College, Kristian describes her desire to serve as a “hole in my heart” that could only be filled by giving back to her community. Known as “Sunshine” to those around her, Kristian is bringing an abundance of energy and enthusiasm to her role at Burns Elementary-Middle School. “Though this job may be deemed as difficult, strenuous and challenging, I am pressing toward the ultimate goal,” she says, “to encourage, uplift, promote, love, challenge and empower the youth of tomorrow in Detroit.”
Through its Charitable Giving Program, ITC is proud to support City Year Detroit, and Kristian, on her yearlong journey.