“What do you think is a problem in your community? What do you think you could make better?” These are some of the questions Denise, an elementary educator for 36 years, asks her students.
Empowering students to think for themselves and find their own voices is her passion, and she credits service learning through Roots & Shoots with opening her eyes to how to unlock students’ potential. “Get children interested while they’re young … tug on their empathy strings, and you let them tell you.”
For the past 15 years Denise has taught in the New York City neighborhood of South Jamaica, Queens, at a 100% Title 1 and Title 3 school where students face significant economic and linguistic challenges. She says she wants to help her students see that they can “be the light” in what may be a “very difficult space.”
That’s why she chose Roots & Shoots.