b'FAITHFULLYNearly28ENGAGING80%Chicago neighborhoods visited with studentsCOMMUNITY of Chicago Semester Michael Gonzalez alumni acknowledge185 SPRING 2020 a hopeful narrative32of Gods presence in the city andfriends Michael hoped to launch his teaching career inorganization Chicago, specifically to be able to serve morefeel motivated toengaged invisits and students of color and to invest in his homecontribute to theirprogram community.workshops,field trips Prior to Chicago Semester, the majority of Michaelscommunitiesevents andfacilitated with teaching experiences were in rural and mostly Whiteof place.* visits to 1871studentsschools. Through the program, Michael received a student teaching position at Benito Juarez High School in Pilsen. He learned that community activists founded the school in hopes to achieve equality in schools and provide a bilingual high school in the neighborhood. Michael collaborated with excellent6 70teachers as he wrote lesson plans about social justice. One particular unit included a discussion about the history of the school and a visit to The National Museum of Mexican Arts exhibit on A La Esperanza, the mural honoring the Chicano movement that started the high school. Additionally, Michael got the opportunity to teach in a classroom where many cultures and races were represented, gainingCity Fellows sites making paidstudents engaged in service the experience he desired for his future career in the city. Chicago Semester gavenon-profit internships possiblelearning or volunteerismMichael the opportunity to discover the rich Hispanic culture of Pilsen and showedfor summer studentshim that activism and engagement in the community can create a lasting impact.Two months before graduation, Michaels professor at Chicago Semester connected him to a Chicago Semester alum teaching at Rachel Carson Elementary School. Located in the Gage Park neighborhood, this school serves a largely Hispanic student population. Michael eventually interviewed and accepted a7 conference teaching position at this school. This fall, Michael will use the skills he learned to better engage with students representing a variety of backgrounds in his classroom. This would not have been possible without the experiences Michaelpresentations had through Chicago Semester. made by staff highlighting *Based on Chicago Semesters Program Evaluations and student assessment results inthe programs 2019-2020. learning model8 9'