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Carmen's Story


I volunteer as a soccer coach, for the NYC Urban Debate League, and as a mentor for marginalized interns at a local laboratory. My service enables minority and low-income students to thrive despite inequity and I know this because these programs supported me. As a Youth Advisor to the NYLC, along with two other incredible advocates, we are working on Youth4Ed. This program is an attempt to make the programs I serve with obsolete because equitable, quality education should not be ensured by NGOs or philanthropists, but by the state and its people. Youth4Ed will mentor student groups across the country about education inequity, its manifestations in their communities, and how to create equity that works specifically and effectively in their areas. By empowering young people to fight for their communities, rather than imposing change, we are encouraging students to learn about their realities and enabling them to spur change from within. Service-learning is the best path towards education equity because it empowers young people to transform their communities deliberately. Service-learning has taught me how to solve problems, given me the confidence to challenge the world around me, and knowledge of this nation’s problems and the myriad of ways that I can contribute to its improvement.