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Linden McKinley Talent Show

The excitement is bouncing off the walls of our new school. The whispers of children practicing their acts while they pretend to work on in-class assignments. The proud statements of the school as they welcome us with open arms to create a positive view of the school. The encouraging cheers from classmates as the students admit they are performing in our Talent Show.

This is an event you cannot miss.

On Thursday, February 9th at 6 pm, Linden-McKinley STEM Academy located on 1320 Duxberry Ave, Columbus, OH, 43211.  We will be hosting a Talent Show showcasing our 7th, 8th and 9th graders. Lights to decorations, ushers to stage crew, judges to emcees to singers, dancers, and actors, the kids are huge part of everything. Our event will also be showcasing a bit of talent from our Corps. The event will be held in the Cafeteria of the high school.

We hope you are able to join us!

50 Acts of Kindness Update

By: Christine Olding

If you remember, a few weeks back, I wrote a blog entry depicting the new behavior initiative that we were going to implement at Hamilton STEM Academy. That behavior initiative is called 50 Acts. It is meant to help the most behaviorally challenged students in school to become leaders within their school and community. Each week I meet with six differing students and discuss differing ways to handle the situations they face and also, their emotions. I do that in a variety of ways, but I have found that simply having basic discussions works best with the group of students I work with. I, also, ask each of the students’ one act of leadership they have done that week. It can be something as simple as saying “Thank You”, to as complex as, a detailed story of they helped a member of their family. Each week brings new stories and new challenges. Here is a walk-through of a typical meeting my 50 Acts group.

I go to get my group of students every Wednesday at 12:20 P.M. From that time until 12:45, we eat our lunches and talk. I start out each meeting of, “Miss Christine’s Secret Lunch Crew”, by asking them their act of leadership for the week. It always amazes me how eager each student is to tell me what positive things they have done that week. Some of my favorite acts of leadership that have occurred within my group consist of moments when my students have helped out other students in their school. From helping prevent a fight to helping them with their homework; it truly is outstanding how helpful these deemed “bad” students can be. It shows me that with a little bit of guidance these students really can be outstanding citizens.

After we discuss the differing acts of leadership each of them has done that week, we move on to the topic of that week. Upon first starting my group, I used to have them play interactive games, but found that they enjoyed simply talking out their problems much better. It, also, proved to be much more effective. I give them a topic to discuss and they take it from there.  Last week’s topic was, “How can I prevent a negative situation from happening?” Each of my students came up with thoughtful and helpful ways to prevent differing situations. They, also, took it upon themselves to ask me for advice about differing situations they currently are facing and what to do.

The one thing I find most fascinating about my 50 Acts group, is how their school ideals and home ideals conflict at a very alarming rate. Though, they know what the right thing to do is, they find it difficult to extinguish certain situations because of things they have either learned or been told at home. When that is brought to my attention, I do my best to try to explain how acting one way at home might not be an okay way to act at school, “At home, your boss is your parents, at school your boss is your teacher, the principal or any other adult you come in contact with. At home you have to listen to your parents but at school you have to listen to what the adults at school ask you to do”.  Despite the fact that every week I have to remind my students of the above fact, it has proved to be beneficial. Though, some of my students are still reprimanded for certain bad choices, they have really begun to improve in the behavior department. I am truly proud of each and every one of my students progress.

50 Acts was created to help the students that most people have given up on, the students who have been deemed “lost causes”. However, every week I am shown how helpful, thoughtful, and caring each one of my students can be.  By just taking the time to listen to each and every one of them, we are truly making an impact of mass proportions in their lives. We are giving them something that they are not used to; we are giving them a chance to succeed.

Where I’m From…

By: Jacqueline Gibbs

Today we worked on writing poems about ourselves and where we’re from.  A sheet was passed and questions were asked to help the students think of home.  Colors, smells, family, and popular sayings, these are things that bring memories of growing up.

I’m from a crazy city where lies lie down the road,

I’m from a place where when you close your eyes

You dream of gold

I met a girl who buried her face beneath her arms.  Who told me through the angry glint in her eye that nothing mattered. Who only looked away when I tried to explain the importance in learning each and every day.  In a place she never wanted to be.  Surrounded by people she didn’t really care to meet.  Here, because this is where her older siblings come to school.  She claims this is why she doesn’t care.  What a dumb rule.

Back and forth, round and round, I paced the floors and walked away from that little girl with the frown.  Peeping over shoulders, circling in all directions.  I shuffled around looking for ways to be useful.  Offering suggestions and making corrections.

You can walk down the shallow streets with thoughts that still linger,

And also where your dreams last the length of a finger

I’m from a place where there are a couple of kind hearts left,

A place where all I remember hearing is “Never give up until you

Have gave your all and tried your best”

I met a boy who said the smells of gas and fumes remind him of that place called home.  And where is home if not with your parents? Could it be with grandparents? Friends? To all of these his reply was no.  Finally someplace? I said.  And he could only nod his head.

Not all of the poems that I saw filled me with sadness.  There were words that spoke of loving families, good food, and tradition too.  Strangers to me and stranger to them.  How beautiful a thing for poetry to reveal to me their hidden worlds and who knew.

I’m from a place where everything is unfamiliar, and where people

Are so cold it’s almost like when you ask for warmth

They give you the shivers,

I’m from a place where you see people go from magical mansions to crying shacks,

I’m from a place where

People turn their opinions about you into facts

My whispers must have reached her in someway.  I’d almost forgotten when I looked away.  That’s when she called me over and placed it in my hands.  What was once a blank sheet of paper became twenty-one lines of pure talent covering the entire space.  I wasn’t wrong when I looked at her and saw a genius behind that little pouty face.

I’m from a place where people yell O-H-I-O,

I’m from a place named

Columbus Ohio!


-Linden McKinley Student

By and by a week had passed since that last day I saw her in class.  Up the stairs and to the right, down the hall and there it was.  Hung from the wall those twenty-one lines.  And can you only guess by the grin on my face what I meant when I said to the girl with the glint in her eye.  Oh what a wonderful place for your poem to be.

And now it’s time for… Miss Mac’s Spirit Feel Good

By: Crystal Mcdonald

You know as a corps member, it gets hard sometimes and you may have to check yourself, bring some things back in order, revamp your strategy, switch up the game plan, and envision the bigger picture. You must always keep the main goal out front.

So I’m here to help you with that. You can think of me as your

self-appointed guru. Don’t worry I will keep it short and sweet as to not accrue any fees on your behalf…

1st Session: Your Zion

While Zion is a term synonymous withJerusalem, I like to think of it as my happy place; a world much different from what is presented. As an activist, I feel we face the challenge of attempting to change the way people think and the way things are while facing reality and incorporating it into our plan. This can cause us to react a few different ways. We can either see our efforts in the situation as futile and dire or we try to only focus on what we want to happen. To not get caught in this downward spiral of hopelessness, we should center ourselves in the eye of the storm.  Taking the good with the bad and realizing that the damage done could always be worse and that seeing that the damage better equips us to rebuild and restore in the future. Your Zion is the reason you do it all and as long as you have reason you have possibilities.


By: Sarai Exil


Funny word … isn’t it?

It’s like a seed planted in May finally blooming in August.

I have no patience.

I’m never really calm.

I struggle with waiting for results, even though I know they are eventually going to happen.  Man, I struggle with incompetence.  People’s inability to understand certain aspects of life. Young Adults who don’t realize their potential, so they sit in the classroom with their head’s down complaining of a headache.

Problem is … City Year requires a WHOLE lot of patience.

with myself…..

with kids.
with teachers.
with administration.
with staff.
with Senior Corp Members.
with Corp Members.
with friends.
with roommates.
with pedestrians …

And when I get a little frustrated …

It builds up like
a volcano, dormant
and beautiful and


Everyone is in the line of fire.

When you’re tired and confused, you are never in the right state of mind.

That’s where awesome friends who only want the best for you, come in.

Jackie is this great girl who is always smiling. One smile from her and all my troubles seem to fly away.

Crystal is the loudest female you’ll ever meet, and sometimes she doesn’t even know how loud she is … but never once have I felt insignificant around her.  Her laugh … I can’t really even describe her laugh;  it’s kind of like a hyena.  Man, do I love her.  She’s a great one to bounce your ideas off of, and always has an open ear.

Jack, the Training Project Leader for City Year, is one helpful kid. He is just always there when I have something on mind. He’s a bit crazy, but you can’t help but love him.

And my favorite of ALL, my lovely roommate, Melissa! If I didn’t have Melissa, I think I would have given up on all my hopes and goals for City Year.  Honestly, I have been blessed with a roommate who cares about me enough to listen to my entire day with no bias … until the end.  She’s my special Puerto Rican guru.

I sometimes get so bogged down by all the little details that I forget how blessed I am to be with all of these wonderful Corp members.  All I know is that by the end of this year, with the help of all of these leaders,  I will have developed patience.

And I’m already grateful.