Following his graduation, Amaury Ramirez ’12 joined the ranks of AmeriCorps’ City Year program, devoting a full-year of community service at a school in his hometown. Since that pivotal moment in 2012, Ramirez has been working his way up the teaching ranks with a recent promotion as lead fourth-grade teacher at Success Academy in Brooklyn, N.Y., for the upcoming school year.
“My position this year allowed me the opportunity to learn from another teacher while getting some field experience,” says Ramirez, who was an associate teacher in a third-grade classroom at Success last year.
Success Academy is currently serving 67,000 students at 22 locations across the New York City area. Their focus is on “doing things differently,” as they provide students with the freedom to be innovative and creative. At Success, classes are referred to by their teacher’s alma mater and the year students will graduate from college. Ramirez will teach in a class dubbed, “Hobart and William Smith 2027.”
Ramirez, who was a writing and rhetoric major at HWS, says his year spent volunteering with City Year was a good experience because it gave him the opportunity to work with children firsthand. City Year is an education-based, non-profit organization which partners with public schools to provide intervention for students who are most at risk of dropping out. The City Year program, in combination with his time spent at HWS, is what Ramirez says prepared him for both a career in teaching and for the “real world.”
“Hobart prepared me to be flexible,” he says. “As a teacher, you need to be flexible with different personalities and welcoming the idea of compromising. At HWS, I experienced different people, and got some experience dealing with people that had different opinions than I do.”
At the Colleges, Ramirez was a writing colleague, participated in the Learn 2 Lead program and served as a jumpstart Corps member.
Calling this past year “amazing,” Ramirez plans to continue down his current career path. “As of right now, my future is to continue teaching,” Ramirez says. “I love teaching right now and Success Academy is giving me my start and training as a teacher.”