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AmeriCorps Coach Shares Gratitude for Service and Hope for Teaching

College Access Coach, Hannah Santeler, Pointing To Her College Possible Nametag

College Access Coach, Hannah Santeler, pointing to her College Possible nametagIf I was asked to look back on my year of service with AmeriCorps and College Possible and choose a word to describe it, there is one word that stands out more than the rest. Gratitude.

Gratitude to the College Possible leadership team for guiding me through this term of service and allowing me to have this experience. Gratitude to my fellow AmeriCorps members for always being there when I needed them, and providing resources and support. But most importantly, gratitude to scholars for opening their hearts and letting me into their lives. 

When beginning my year of service, I had no idea the impact College Possible would have, not only on my life, but on students’ lives as well. I knew the work I was doing was important but being able to see it firsthand showed me just how much it meant. These scholars chose to be in College Possible. They want to break out of the purposefully placed barriers history has put in front of them. Most importantly, they saw the importance of their future and want to be the best version of themselves they can be.

Although I intended on completing two service years with College Possible, life has taken me in another direction. Teaching English abroad has always been in my life plan, I just had no idea when or where. However, my experience and professional development as a high school coach has given me an opportunity to teach in South Korea in the late fall. Leaving such an amazing and supportive organization wasn’t an easy decision. Even harder, telling students I won’t be there for their senior year. I have built an incredible bond with so many of them, and I can’t wait to see them walk across the stage at graduation next year, and onto their next chapter. I’ll forever be grateful for the relationships built, skills developed, and lessons learned from my year of service.

As the school year and my year of service come to an end, I say goodbye to students and look back on who they were when I first recruited them. I’m touched to see how much they have grown and know they will all be successful in their own unique ways.

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