After a recent visit to Hall High School, it was evident that an organization known as City Year of Little Rock is making a lasting impact on student’s lives. City Year’s mission is “to close gaps in high-need schools by supporting students’ academic and social-emotional development while also providing schools with the additional capacity to enhance school culture and climate” (website). How do they do it? Through a holistic approach with City Year AmeriCorps members working directly with students in collaboration with partner teachers.
City Year’s AmeriCorps members (student success coaches) are uniquely positioned to tutor, mentor and act as role models to students who need a young adult who can form positive and caring connections to help students build the skills and mindsets they need to succeed in school and in life.
City Year’s student success coaches were recently students themselves–one of the reasons they form such strong connections with the students they work with so quickly.
Partner teachers agree — City Year promotes a positive learning environment while providing much needed 1:1 support for learners. We wanted to hear from a student about their experience with City Year, so we partnered with City Year of Little Rock to highlight a student that is an active member of the City Year program.
Corey Pryor, a 9th-grade student at Hall High School is coached by Miracle Burton. “Corey’s determination to exceed expectations combined with his passion for education inspires me in so many ways. He continues to show his fellow peers that with dedication and hard work, you can be cool and smart at the same time” said Burton. His student success coach is not the only person who thinks highly of him. His English teacher, Ms. Poore, agrees. “Corey is a brilliant and driven young man. He has the most sincere personality and has a great determination to succeed,” she said. He even stands out to those who don’t know him. “I don’t know Corey super well, but the kid is rare. You do not see very often someone who walks with such confidence and humility all at the same time,” said Samuel Kossow, City Year’s Impact Manager at Hall High School. Get to know Corey in his interview below. His future is bright!
Miracle Burton (left), City Year Mentor, pictured with Corey Pryor (right), a 9th-grade student at Hall High School
Would you rather go 30 days without your phone or 5 years without dessert?
“5 years without dessert because I need my phone. I just need it. I don’t eat dessert every day anyway.”
What is your favorite subject in school?
“Math. It requires me to think a lot and is very helpful for when I get older.”
Think of someone who has been a leader or role model in your life… What stands out to you about them?
“My mom. She works really hard and provides for my brother and sister. And she pushes me to work hard and be my best self.”
What are three things that you are passionate about?
“School, basketball, and being there for my family.”
What are some ways that City Year has supported you and helped you develop as a student/leader/etc…
“They have helped me with my work and given support in a lot of my different classes. Ms. Miracle is my City Year mentor and the person I work with most. She is really cool and not hard on me. She encourages and pushes me and points out my strengths.”
If you had to listen to just one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
“Hmm let me check my playlist. Actually never mind it would be ‘Global’ by Lil Baby.”
When you hear the word leadership, what do you think of?
“People that take a stand and guide people in the right way. They always respect and help people.”
What accomplishments are you proud of here at school?
“I’m on the basketball team, on the Honor Roll with straight A’s, in the Accelerated Math program, my behavior is really good in class, and I am very encouraging to my peers.”
What do you want to be when you grow up?
“A lot of things I believe I can succeed at, but right now I’d want to do something in the medical field. It is helping people out while constantly learning, and the money is really good.”
Where is one place you want to travel to?
What was your first thought when you were asked to be highlighted?
“I was like…me? Why? But then I was told that I was nominated by the City Year team because of my grades and behavior and leadership ability. I was shocked but definitely am excited about it.”