Name: Joel Hilario
Hometown: New York, New York
School/Major: Ithaca College/ Psychology major
Q: How did you hear about City Year?
A: I first heard about City Year my sophomore year of college. One of my professors talked about how great this organization is in helping students who are at risk of dropping out of school. The instant I heard about City Year, I knew that it was the perfect way to make a change.
Q: How do you think this year will connect with your long-term goals or career path?
A: I see my year of service as a stepping-stone to my future career as a school psychologist. One of my biggest passions is to empower students who remind me of myself. I want to be able to help those students who are often left in the dark with broken textbooks and in under-resourced classrooms. I know how it feels to be in a classroom with 40 other students and one teacher, and I know what it’s like to feel like you are destined to fail because of your zip code. I see this organization as the perfect outlet to reach out to students who are being cheated out of a fair education and who might feel like they are incapable of succeeding academically. The experiences I face as a corps member will prepare me to face all sorts of situations that I might re-encounter as a school psychologist.
Q: What are you most excited about for your corps year?
A: I am excited to see a growth of confidence in the students I will be working with. By the end of my service year, I want my students to feel like they are worthy of love and success. I want them to set numerous goals for themselves and see the world with endless possibilities.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten that you’re going to keep with you for next year?
A: To receive a challenge with a smile because challenges bring change – and change brings growth.
Complete this prompt: I can #makebetterhappen by challenging students beyond their expectations.