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She Can Rely on Me

Young woman with backpackBy Malone DeYoung, AmeriCorps Promise Fellow serving with Minneapolis Public Schools Check & Connect Program at Longfellow

Like many Promise Fellows in distanced learning, I spend a lot of time texting students every day and get very few responses. At first, this made me feel discouraged, as I felt that I wouldn’t be able to connect with students. With one student, I had been texting her for a month with no response, but she hadn’t shown up to a single day of school yet.

One day, she showed up at the school building and picked up some work. We got to meet each other in person, and a few days later, she started joining the Google Meets. I checked in with her each day, but still didn’t get any response.

Yet, after a few weeks, I joined my regular lunch Google Meet to find that she had joined. Even though we had not had many interactions, my daily texts showed her that I could be a consistent source of support for her, and that she could rely on me. We talked about her goals, and she shared with me how every day, she takes out her past report cards and reminds herself of how good of a student she can be.

Our relationship has become much stronger after many lunch meet conversations, and has proved how every interaction and text I send to students shows them that I am committed to them as a consistent, caring, and reliable adult.

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