Jacqueline Ybarra, Building Community, Changing Lives
Discovering a Life Calling While Serving in Education
Jacqueline Ybarra was headed for a career in teaching when she became an AmeriCorps California member, serving in K-12 mentoring and tutoring through Building Community, Changing Lives. Her service taught her that work in education goes well beyond the classroom and it changed the trajectory of her career. She is now on her way to becoming a school psychologist.
Building Community, Changing Lives places AmeriCorps California members with schools scoring below proficiency standards to support students with critical needs. Jacqueline Ybarra gained valuable insights into a teaching career while making a positive difference in the most pressing challenges of her local school. Jacqueline described her service experience.
“Serving two terms with AmeriCorps California has allowed me to develop both professionally and personally in so many forms. I came into this program for an opportunity to see the day-to-day life of a teacher before making the decision to enroll in a teaching credential program. I came to realize within the first few months of my service, that teaching specifically was not for me, but the education field was definitely my passion and calling in life. I was able to work one-on-one with some of the most struggling students, supporting them through classroom instruction both academically, socially, and emotionally.
I became an advocate for facilitating learning with accommodations for students who need it, which led me to realize I could actually make a career out of this kind of work. Through my experience with this program, I found that I want to take my career to the next step and become a school psychologist.
I have also made amazing professional connections through this program throughout Porterville Unified School District! I am establishing a good reputation by working hard as an AmeriCorps member, so that I can secure a job as a school psychologist when the time comes because it’s a very competitive field to enter. I feel secure and positive about my future now that I have the insight, experience, and connections for support as I begin this professional journey.”