AmeriCorps Week- Featured Story: Wellstone International High School

By: Aaron Rangoonwala, AmeriCorps VISTA, Program Developer & Community Partnership Liaison at Wellstone International High School

      I work at an ELL high school within the Minneapolis Public Schools that serves immigrant and refugee populations. I was raised in East Africa and then moved to Minnesota for university. In many ways the students that I work with are going through the exact transition I went through. The opportunity for me to empower them with the knowledge I gained is a life-giving experience. I have come to appreciate the pocket of culture, diversity and differences that Wellstone represents. This is a rare place where the sphere of education has opened up a safe space for the future leaders of tomorrow to engage the faces and issues of the world and understand how their unique perspectives can add tremendously to American society.

This year I started an afterschool tutoring program in conjunction with tutors from the YMCA.  One third of Wellstone students were given access to the extra academic assistance they need to succeed as ELL learners. They have been gaining valuable exposure to native English language and culture which will allow them to navigate their new country as contributing citizens.

I am currently working on an initiative to develop Public Relations material that will serve to re-vamp the way Wellstone High School portrays itself to potential students and their surrounding community. This will allow the school access to more resources and community support and result in an increase in the school’s ability to better serve students of Minneapolis Public Schools.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s