After graduating from the University of Michigan in May of 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management, Jennifer Kern decided to do a year of service with the City Year Detroit AmeriCorps program. This month, she will complete her term of service with more than 1,700 hours served since August 2011. Jennifer was placed at the Phoenix K-8 School in Southwest Detroit where she mentored and tutored eighth grade students. She is not only a wonderful example and role model to the students, but also her fellow City Year Detroit AmeriCorps members.
The expectation was that Jennifer would concentrate her efforts on 12 students for her academic focus list. She surpassed this expectation and worked with 16 students. As a result of Jennifer’s attention and guidance, ten of these students increased their report card grades by more than two letter grades! Although the majority of her time was spent focusing on academics, Jennifer also managed to coordinate a successful school-wide literacy night, plan a field day that involved more than 120 students and staff, and serve as their team’s English and Language Arts Coordinator.
Jennifer also represented City Year Detroit on the Michigan’s AmeriCorps LeaderCorps, which is comprised of one member from each Michigan’s AmeriCorps program. LeaderCorps members serve as a liaison between their program and the Michigan Community Service Commission, helping members to feel more connected on a statewide level. In her role as the LeaderCorps representative, Jennifer has assisted with the production of the Michigan’s AmeriCorps member newsletters and coordinated an inclusion service project. The service project engaged members and volunteers in painting a mural that covered an entire side of a building for a local nonprofit organization called The Hub.
“Jennifer is one of the hardest working, most humble and positive people I have ever encountered in my professional life,” stated City Year Detroit Program Manager, Jessica Lovy. “I have had the pleasure to watch Jennifer interact with her students and have seen the passion she has for education. Luckily, she too has seen this passion and has realized that education is where her heart truly lies. This fall, Jennifer will be starting the Masters of Education program at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. I am confident she will make an amazing teacher in the future and have no doubt she will positively impact students, fellow teachers, and community members. Jennifer has laid an amazing foundation and set great precedence for future Corps members here at City Year Detroit. I am extremely thankful I got to know her throughout her year of service.”