Darrell serves as The Coordinator of After-School Leadership & Community Service Fellow at The Boston Community Leadership Academy.
1. Why did you join The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship?
I decided to go back to school last year, and I needed something to fill my gap year. I came across MPF on idealist, and it was love at first wagon.
2. Who has inspired you this year?
There’s a civics teacher at my host site named Mr. Op. His real name is Banjineh Browne, but he has been a performance artist for years and continues to use his stage name now in the classroom. His successful transition from entertainer to educator is inspirational, but I’ve been even more impressed with the way he carries the socially-conscious messages of his lyrics over to his teaching.
3. What is your greatest achievement of your service year thus far?
I want to say that my greatest achievement has been demonstrating the potential for growth that my host site’s after-school program has with additional resources supporting it, but the first thing that popped into my head was when I bought 5 avocados for a dollar at Haymarket. I know that probably shouldn’t rank and may not be totally service related, but I think it’s the one thing I did this year that I may never beat.
4. When did you decide you wanted to work with young people?
I enjoy the perspective that working with young people gives me, and I definitely believe that young people represent our future, but the only thing I’ve really decided is that I want to work where I can make a tangible impact and do something I love.
5. How has your own adolescent experience informed how you work with young people today?
People pass judgement on young people all the time, and that is something I remember really struggling with myself. I’m still learning how to be a better youth worker, but the one thing I think I do well is give my students the space they need to self-identify and be themselves.