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Devin Blankenship, #CaliforniansForAll College Corps Alum ‘23

Congratulations on your next steps, Devin! Join us in celebrating Devin Blankenship, a College Corps alum from the inaugural 2022-23 fellowship at Vanguard University. While in the program, Devin tutored students in classrooms. A proud first-gen college graduate of African American descent, Devin now applies her passion for education as a full-time instructional aide for elementary students in the Inland Empire. We’re so proud of Devin and her continued commitment to her service journey!

What are you up to now after service? What inspires you about the work you’re doing now?

As a recent college graduate and College Corps alum, I’m working towards becoming a special education teacher. I currently work as a special education instructional aide for the Perris Elementary School District, with the efforts of making a difference in the lives of students with learning disabilities and supporting them in their personal and academic development. I’m inspired by the little glimpses of improvements and achievements my students make every day. As someone who also needed extra support through special education services, I identify with my students’ experience and I have a passion and hope that they will achieve academic success just as I did.

What are your long-term career and educational goals?

My long-term goals are to pursue a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in government and policy. I hope to one day advocate for disadvantaged populations around the globe through education policy to make sure that every student has an equitable opportunity at pursuing higher education.

How did College Corps prepare you in your career to become a teacher?

College Corps prepared me to become a teacher by allowing me to have the opportunity to pour back into a community that reflected my individual experience as a child growing up. I was able to be a part of my students’ support system and empower them in their educational journeys. College Corps played an integral part in me discovering my love and passion for teaching. It helped me develop professionally with skills in problem solving, communication, and creativity.

What advice would you give to someone who also wants to become a teacher like you?

In an era where instant gratification and microwaveable success is desired, make sure that you have the right heart posture when serving and teaching students. You may not always see their progress right away, but you never know how you are impacting a student’s life by just being present with them through their journey. Although it is hard work, you will see the fruit of every seed you planted in a student’s life. As teachers, we carry so much influence and have the ability to form the next generation’s leaders. I hope that on my journey as a teacher, I keep this nestled in my heart and I hope you do as well.

Devin (eighth from left) represents College Corps at a Black Leaders Roundtable event in the Inland Empire with Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday (center).

What is something you did during your service that makes you feel proud?

Something I did during my service that makes me feel proud is showing up for my students, despite the personal challenges I faced throughout my service. While balancing life as a full-time college student and College Corps Fellow, I always made it a priority to come with a positive attitude, a heart of courage, and ability to learn. There were times where I didn’t know how to solve a math problem with a student, but we worked through it together and it provided a meaningful, learning experience not only for them, but for me as well.

How did you learn about College Corps and what motivated you to apply?

I learned about College Corps through an email my college sent out. I was motivated to apply because the program allowed me to receive scholarship money to pay my tuition and for future educational endeavors. Because I was a senior in college at the time, I really wanted more professional experience that would further prepare me for my future career. I was interested in networking with people in my desired field and gaining experience working in non-profit organizations, such as the tutoring organization I worked with while serving.

➡️  Be like Devin and become a College Corps Fellow! Learn more & apply.

➡️  Stay connected as a California Service Corps alum on the Alumni Network website.