MLK 2020 Why We Serve

January 18, 2021

Dr. King recognized the power of service. He famously said, “Everyone can be great because everybody can serve”.

Several fellows shared why they serve with Saga Education and what a service year means to them. We are so inspired by our fellows who dedicate a year, and in some cases several years to serve their communities and fight educational inequities!

Thank you, fellows, for your ongoing commitment and greatness today, and every day.

Why do you serve?

“I had some very talented, impactful educators in my life during my k-12 education who really helped me love school and, even more, love math. I have known since high school that education is a very important topic to me, and while I am not sure that I want to work in secondary education as a career, I knew that in some way I wanted to give back to students what I had been given as a student. Namely, I wanted to share the joy of learning, discovering new ideas and ways of thoughts, and the personal care that my high school teachers had shown to me.”

—Aubrey Leary, first year fellow at A. Philip Randolph Campus High School, NYC

“I serve because I come from the same environment as our students and I know it just takes the right person to believe in us in order for us to believe in ourselves. Knowing that, I want to be that person for as many students as possible!”

—Jordan Jones, second year fellow at South Plantation High School & Nova High School, Broward County, FL

“Educational equality is something that gets undervalued and overlooked often in America. Due to the increasing capitalistic nature of the approaches to public education, many demographics often get overlooked. The fact that I resonate with saga’s mission combined with the accessibility that online tutoring capabilities have provided is what drew me to be a fellow.”

—Sen Li, second year fellow at Hallandale High School and Dillard High School, Broward County, FL

“I serve because I am acutely aware of the inequities that exist in education, and I believe that the absence of additional support is a key factor contributing to this inequity. As a student, I benefited greatly from academic support outside of the traditional classroom setting, and am immensely grateful to the educators who expressed patience and compassion throughout the year to help me cross the finish line (whether that was a test, entire class, or graduation). I owe my academic success to these educators, and I want to help ensure that all students have the opportunity to receive this extra support.”

—Tarai Zemba, second year fellow at Ron Brown Highschool, Washington D.C.

What does a service year mean to you?

“It’s an opportunity for growth. Already stuck with a pandemic, it’s nice to know that this year wasn’t spent waiting for the economy to open and I was able to provide even a small amount of help where it might be desired. I got a chance to branch into a different field and use my degree for a purpose I find valuable.”

—Sen Li, first year fellow at South Plantation High School & Nova High School, Broward County, FL

Why do you serve with Saga?

I serve with Saga because I have a passion for teaching and I want to make a difference for those who need it the most. Our students deserve even better!

—Carlos Mejia, first year fellow at South Plantation High School & Nova High School, Broward County, FL

“I chose Saga specifically because I wanted to work with a team of individuals from all backgrounds towards meeting the needs of the students in our community. I also really liked the coaching model that Saga has for Fellows. Learning from current and previous educators will most prepare me for my first year as a Teacher!”

—Claire Schwettmann, first year fellow at Grover Cleveland High School, Queens, NY