Partner Highlight: City Year Tulsa

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Veronica Rojas-Sotelo has a special place in the heart of Kendall-Whittier neighborhood because she grew up in the community. Her family relocated from Mexico to Tulsa when she was 12 years old. Veronica vividly remembers the difficult transition of moving to a new country and learning a new language. But, because of everything she overcame during that transition, she knew that giving back to the community was a priority for her. That’s what ultimately inspired her to become a City Year AmeriCorps member. 

City Year is an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. It made its way to Tulsa seven years ago and has been a vital partner in our work of neighborhood advancement ever since. Currently, there are 82 City Year AmeriCorps members working with 6,000+ students throughout our city. And Veronica is proud to be one of them. 

During the last year of Veronica’s bachelor’s degree at North Eastern State, she did a student teaching practicum at Kendall-Whittier Elementary School.

“Throughout student teaching, I saw the positive impact that City Year had in the school,” said Veronica. “I wondered how I could be part of this program.”

After doing her own research and talking with Kirk Wester, Growing Together’s Executive Director, she decided to apply to become an AmeriCorps member. 

“I was accepted into the program and was offered a position in Chicago, Illinois where I served for two years,” said Veronica.

But, she knew Tulsa was calling her back home.

She made her way back to Tulsa with the desire to be placed at Kendall-Whittier Elementary School.

“My mom works at the school and my little brother was a student there, so naturally I hoped to work at Kendall-Whittier Elementary,” said Veronica. “But, all of the spots were full but I was placed right up the road at Will Rogers.”

Veronica served Will Rogers High School for two and a half years before she was offered the position of Impact Director of City Year Tulsa last year.

“I will always give back to Kendall-Whittier, because it means so much to me. But as I have gotten older, I have realized I want to give back to the entire Latinx community in our City, and my new position allows me to do that,” said Veronica. Through our work, we’ve realized that once we find thriving partners we can go so much farther and make a bigger impact in our city. Thank you, City Year and Veronica, for being a vital part in making Tulsa a better place for all of its neighbors.

Through our work, we’ve realized that once we find thriving partners we can go so much farther and make a bigger impact in our city. Thank you, City Year and Veronica, for being a vital part in making Tulsa a better place for all of its neighbors.

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