Lindsay Paiva is currently serving her AmeriCorps term at Breakthrough Providence, a non-profit organization in the city with the dual mission of supporting low-income, first generation, college-bound middle school students and encouraging high school and college students to pursue a career in education.
Host Site: Breakthrough Providence
Where did you go to school? Connecticut College, Class of 2012
What are your personal and professional interests? Politics, community-based education reform, running, sitcoms, chocolate
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Apparition #nomoreportkeys
Tell us your Story of Service:
I am currently serving my AmeriCorps term at Breakthrough Providence, a non-profit organization in the city with the dual mission of supporting low-income, first generation, college-bound middle school students and encouraging high school and college students to pursue a career in education.
My specific role at Breakthrough is to build the capacity of the organization’s professional development program. After 20 years of developing their “students teaching students” model, Breakthrough is now looking to extend their impact beyond the 150 young people they are able to reach every year. And they have found the perfect way: creating a Students Teaching Students Institute (STSI).
The STSI is a way for us to share our knowledge on teaching and learning with the greater Rhode Island community in order to empower students and educators across the state. Pretty cool, right? Wait until you hear what we have planned!
Through STSI, Breakthrough Providence alumni and program directors will team up to offer professional development workshops for schools, districts, community-based organizations, and teacher education programs on our best practices in three main areas: relationship building, developing a culture of spirit and scholarship, and rigoritivity (creating learning environments that are both rigorous and creative). These workshops and programs will be tailored to meet the particular needs of each group that we serve.
I have a pretty amazing job, but like all amazing jobs, it comes with its challenges. The most significant challenge for me so far has been to figure out the order of operations for getting this thing off the ground. Because this is a project that is still in the developing stages, I have had to think long and hard about my approach, and about what steps should precede others. Initially, I was too concerned with having an absolutely perfect (and obviously color-coded, tabbed, and awesome) spreadsheet with an exhaustive list of contacts and potential partnerships. I pretty much wanted to be the grandmaster of the professional development scene in RI before I even spoke to another living soul about STSI.
I soon realized that this was a terrible idea. My best bet was to reach out to the contacts I had, whether personal or through the organization, to start having conversations. These conversations have helped to give the project life, and to make it real, and with each phone call and meeting, and every email I send, I feel as though I have a firmer grasp on what this will look like and how I’m going to make it happen. And I’m not going to lie. I’m pretty excited about it.
If you’d like more information or are interested in discussing a potential partnership with Breakthrough Providence’s Students Teaching Students Institute, I would love to hear from you at STSI@breakthroughprovidence.org.