ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: SELINA EMAHATSION
"I believe in the power of the voices that are often marginalized and ignored, and it is my mission to bring those stories to light and help students discover their passion."
Why have you decided to work with City Year?
SELINA: In a world that tells young people of color that we are incapable, inferior, and unworthy, I want my students to understand that this doesn’t have to be their story. Personally, I was never motivated by monetary or material rewards; the feeling of helping others is what brings me joy. Through the fight of injustice, service has brought me peace and understanding that this work is greater than I am. It has taught me to be a selfless, empathetic, and compassionate leader as I continue to knock on the doors of opportunity, and leave that door open for others to lead behind me.
What is your role?
SELINA: I am currently serving as a Second Year Americorps Member with City Year at G.W Childs Elementary in South Philadelphia.
As a City Year Americorps Member, I mentor, tutor, and coach students in under-resourced communities with the goal that 80% of them will reach the 10th grade on track to graduate high school. I focus on attendance, behavior, and course performance, and I provide: attendance coaching to students who have an attendance average below 90%; social-emotional learning sessions to develop students’ skills in different competencies; and specialized academic interventions in Math and Literacy (for specific students who are behind grade level). We also provide after-school programming that consists of Homework Help and various clubs that engage and expose students to different activities.
What are you most excited about?
SELINA: I am excited to broaden my horizons and serve in a community where I have not lived. I am also extremely excited to learn from my students and serve as mentor in their lives.
Do you have any advice for your TF colleagues?
SELINA: Conquer every challenge with an open mind and view it as a learning opportunity. Also, if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong! :)
What is your favorite memory from the summer?
SELINA: My favorite memories with GT were the moments spent outside of the classroom where I developed meaningful relationships with my students and GT staff (a specific memory is going swimming and playing a teacher vs. student water polo game!)