Coach Spotlight: Soyoung Jung

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Name: Soyoung Jung (So)

Major // Year: Development Sociology/Law & Society Minor, 2014

1. How long have you been a PA Coach?

Since Fall 2013

2. What has been your most memorable moment as a PA Coach?

The first few meetings we had as a team on Fridays was probably the most memorable for me. We did some wacky and awkward ice-breaker activities, but after those, I felt extremely comfortable with all PA coaches and it gave me more confidence in doing my job better. I also was able to use some of those ice-breaker activities at other student organizations that I have led for the past year, and they seem to work really well!

 3. How does being a PA Coach add to your experience at Cornell and contribute to your future goals?

I have to thank Amy for giving me the chance of becoming a PA Coach. Like most coaches have said throughout the year, this seemed like a do-able job in the midst of our busy schedules. That’s all that it was at the beginning, but I’ve learned that this not only expanded my public/community service efforts, but it has impacted my future career plan as well. While I’ve been planning on becoming a lawyer for many years, even before high school, I am now looking at Children’s Defense Law instead of pursuing the plain Corporate business law. Even though seeing my students at my site gave me great joy and excitement every week, I was able to see the hardships that they faced as well, both in school and with their families. I want to be able to help them in the legal world as well as their academic world.

Coach Spotlight: Grace Leu

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Name: Grace Leu

Major // Year: Human Biology, Health, and Society ’14

1. How long have you been a PA Coach?

Only 1 semester!

2. What has been your most memorable moment as a PA Coach?

It’s really hard to say which moment is my favorite as a PA Coach cause there are just so many! The most recent memorable moment that comes to mind happened during one of last days with them for the year. We were sitting around reflecting on the past semester with the kids. When we asked them what kind of projects would they be interested in doing next year with Public Achievement, they could not stop talking about different topics they’d like to not only learn more about but also teach their peers about. It was truly amazing to see these young children so engaged and aware of not only their immediate surroundings but just the entire world around them. One 4th grader asked if they could focus more on global issues such as the Palestinian conflict. A second grader asked if they could do a project about taking care of our earth. In that moment, I was just so proud of them! I’m really excited to see the engaged citizens they become in the future.

3. How does being a PA Coach add to your experience at Cornell and contribute to your future goals?

Being a PA Coach has been a great way for me to get to know the Ithaca community better, especially the younger generations of the Ithaca community. Not only that but it has taught me so much about leadership. I’ve heard from someone before that being a leader is not just about being powerful, but being able to help the people you are leading to realize the power they have within them. And I really think that is what we did. The kids already had the potential to be powerful leaders in their communities, we just tried to help them uncover it and use it for the benefit of their peers. It really was a joy getting to see the kids every Monday and Wednesday morning. They really reminded me to be optimistic and to be excited about everything I am doing.

Coach Spotlight: Bin Bin Fan

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Name: Bin Bin Fan

Major: Psychology // Class of 2014

1. How long have you been a PA Coach?

I’ve been a coach since August 2013.

2. What has been your most memorable moment as a PA Coach?

It’s very hard to pinpoint an exact moment that has been the most memorable. If anything, it would have to be when it finally felt like the students were looking forward to our arrival to their school to continue the projects we were working on with them. Thus, it was never a clear moment that was the most memorable for me. Instead, it was when I could finally feel students’ motivation and desire to pursue their objectives they set for themselves.

3. How does being a PA Coach add to your experience at Cornell and contribute to your future goals?

Being a PA Coach was more than just being a mentor to the kids that I worked with. It was learning how to inspire someone else from within. Motivating people externally can be a challenge but to do so in a roundabout way is even more difficult. As I encourage the students to pursue what they want and to facilitate their development, I also learned to enact the same actions upon myself. It was a self-learning process where I grew with the students and in the end, we each come out of it gaining something different but still very similar. I think I can apply this to my life as well as to facets of later jobs that I might have. To inspire from within is a learned skill that I will use both upon myself and to help others in the future.

Coach Spotlight: Emily Hayko

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Name: Emily Hayko

Major: Human Development // Minors: Education and French // Class of 2014

1. How long have you been a PA Coach?
I have been a Public Achievement Coach for this school year, since August 2013.

2. What has been your most memorable moment as a PA Coach?
My most memorable moment was definitely the presentation that my 5th grade students made at the Public Achievement Conference this Spring. They were so excited to share their ideas and research findings at the conference, and I was incredibly proud of the way it turned out. When asked what their favorite part of the process was, many of them stated that they loved working with the coaches and learning that their actions could have an effect on their community. It was amazing to hear them articulate what we had been working toward all year!

3. How does being a PA Coach add to your experience at Cornell and contribute to your future goals?
I could not be more thankful for the experience of being a Public Achievement Coach during my last year at Cornell. It has been wonderful to work with so many other Cornell students who are as passionate about teaching and empowering children as I am. Next year, I will be working as a teacher at The New England Center for Children, a school for children with autism. My experience as a coach will help me immensely in terms of developing lessons, working with many different types of students, and working in a team setting.

Coach Spotlight: Cayley Heller

Cayley Heller Spotlight

Major: PAM (Policy Analysis and Management) // Class of 2014

1. How long have you been a PA Coach?

I started in August 2013, at the beginning of the school year.

2. What has been your most memorable moment as a PA Coach?

It’s difficult to pinpoint one particular moment because there are so many to choose from! I love hearing the children tell us how happy they are to have the PA Coaches there. I still remember the moment it became clear that the kids were really passionate about and invested in the project we are working on together. I also really enjoy working with fellow Coaches and finding a new community within Cornell.

3. How does being a PA Coach add to your experience at Cornell and contribute to your future goals?

Being a PA Coach has been one of the best parts of this year and I look forward to working every week! It has given me the opportunity to connect more to the local community and has provided me with problem solving skills that will be useful in whatever I do in the future.

Welcome to Public Achievement at Cornell University!

Public Achievement is a citizenship education initiative in which trained college students go into local schools to engage with youth and help them realize their potential to be agents of change in their communities.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, coaches will be working in various schools, doing projects including: teaching 5th grade students about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the meaning of rights in a democracy, working with ESL students to help them develop their sense of cultural identity and discover their voices, inspiring high school seniors to engage in local government in their communities, helping 2nd and 3rd grade students co-create a caring and inclusive cafeteria space, and more. Coaches will engage with students, teachers, school principals, community officials, and other individuals who are passionate about their communities.

Coaches will receive training and professional development to prepare them for success in their schools. They will pick up key skills like lesson planning, power mapping, public speaking, and other abilities alongside other passionate coaches. Click on our different pages to find out more about what we do!