Last week we had the opportunity to chat with Promise Corps alumni Shakia Kirksey ’17 and ask her some questions about her experience during her service year and what she is doing currently.
Shakia served with Promise Corps in 2016-2017 at West Philadelphia High School. She had just moved to Philadelphia from North Carolina. In North Carolina, Shakia served as a VISTA doing college access work. She wanted to have a more hands on experience and learned about Promise Corps and jumped on the opportunity to work in schools with students.
She shared some insight of her experience with Promise Corps. Shakia shared that her work with Promise Corps prepared her for the work she does now. She currently is in a role that provided college access workshops to high school students. Prior to Promise Corps Shakia had no experience working with inner city youth. She learned to understand the experiences and needs of the students. In her time, she learned to be flexible with herself and learn to be what the students need at any given time.
There was even one student that Shakia worked with in her service year that she is still in contact with! She was a student that many adults thought would not be ready for college or last. This student is in her third year of college and doing very well and speaks well about her relationship with the Promise Corps team from West Philly High! It is just amazing that Shakia is still in contact with a student years after her service.
Shakia currently works with Uncommon Individual Foundation as the Associate Director of College Readiness. In this role she facilitates college access workshops to high school students. These workshops include how to be successful in college, preparing for college, and the transition from high school to college. Within this role, Shakia has had the opportunity to create the current curriculum, has had opportunities to film her modules and create social and emotional content for the organization. Her year of service prepared for all of the aspects in her current role.
Lastly, Shakia was asked, “what advice would you give to the members who are currently in service now?” She responded with two pieces of advice.
Success does not happen overnight, it is something you have to put time and effort into. It may also be something you will not witness, you may be the person planting the seed of growth.
Do not underestimate the importance of relationship building with your students.
It was amazing having the opportunity to speak with Shakia and have her share her experiences with us! Thank you Shakia!!