Jim Conti contributed this post — a visit to a site where Inner City Teaching Corps (ICTC) of Chicago’s Volunteer Teaching Corps (VTC) members serve. Jim is the program’s Recruiting Coordinator and Associate Director.
For 18 years, the Inner-City Teaching Corps has placed highly excited and motivated recent college graduates in high-need, urban schools. Though some schools have been partners for many years, the Inner-City Teaching Corps’s Volunteer Teaching Corps also searches out new placements for volunteer teachers. One such partnership was established in 2007 and has had members of the Volunteer Teaching Corps ever since. The character, identity, and make-up of the school are specific to this one placement, but the message and sense of hope are transferable to all other school placements.
San Miguel School – Gary Comer Campus is located on Chicago’s West-side, specifically within the Austin neighborhood. The school and community are almost entirely African-American, with a small percentage of students and residents coming from a Hispanic background. The neighborhood lies to the West of the Garfield Park and Humboldt Park neighborhoods, and to the East of Chicago’s first Western suburb, Oak Park. For several years now, residents have been facing the loss of affordable housing as the surrounding neighborhoods continue to be re-gentrified and the identity of this proud neighborhood is transformed. Continue reading