Danielle Bouchard's Page
I remember the first time I learned about Citizen Schools. I was job searching online my senior year of college, (that tedious process of trying to figure out what you want to do with your future), and I stumbled across this innovative non-profit. I had always been interested in education and ways to close the achievement gap. While many organizations offered solutions to solve this complex issue, I was particularly taken by Citizen Schools’ method. Citizen Schools brings in a second shift of educators during the afterschool hours to extend the school day until five o’clock; during these hours, students receive support on their homework, information on colleges and careers, and they participate in two apprenticeships every semester. Apprenticeships are an opportunity for students to gain access to new skills, beliefs, and information that they otherwise may not be exposed to. During apprenticeships, students learn how to type, how to dance, how to build robots, and some may even travel to the Google office in San Francisco to learn how to blog.
My experience working for Citizen Schools this past year has exposed me to how important of an impact this organization can have on the life of a child. This year, I met a student named Diego. Diego is many things; he is intelligent, quick witted, and curious. He not afraid to challenge and be challenged and he is a hard worker. Most importantly, Diego wants to be a computer scientist when he grows up. However, his family does not have a computer at home because they cannot afford one. During conversations I have had with Diego’s parents, they have told me that they worry because they feel they cannot help Diego succeed in school due to their limited education; and, because they do not read or write English, they cannot help him on his homework.
Diego’s experience with Citizen Schools has provided him access to computers that he would not otherwise have if he were not enrolled in the Citizen Schools program. He took typing as an apprenticeship this year and learned a skill that will serve him well as he goes on to pursue a career in technology. As he continues to be enrolled in the program, Diego will have additional opportunities to pursue math and science apprenticeships that will give him more information and access to a career in technology.
If you choose to donate money to Citizen Schools, the money will go towards expanding programs in California so more kids like Diego can have access to classes that expand their knowledge, beliefs, and opportunities. Citizen Schools is working to put as many students as it can on a pathway to success, and your donation will go towards supporting this cause.