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Bank of America Student Leader Experience with Horizons Hampton Roads

Posted August 3, 2015

Jamie Nervil served as a student volunteer through the Bank of America Student Leader program this summer. The Portsmouth site of Horizons Hampton Roads was fortunate to have Jamie join their team of dedicated volunteers and here she shares her summer volunteer experience with our inspiring, life transforming summer academic enrichment program:

automan visit

These awesome kids didn’t mind one bit that they went back to school a little earlier this summer, but they didn’t just read and write, they also had tons of fun! This year at the Portsmouth Catholic Regional School, Horizons is back and better than ever! Former and new staff have brought loads of new learning material for the students to get ahead in their studies. We’ve also had some generous guests come to educate the students on their important job occupations and what makes them important. As a new member of the Horizons family, I can honestly say that I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity to work at PCRS, so thank you to the Horizons Board of Directors and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for allowing me to interact with such wonderful students. It’s such an uplifting sight to see that there’s such a large amount of children who really want to remain distant from an increasing statistic of being 6 times more likely to drop out of high school due to lack of academic progression. To see that they have such encouraging families who want them to have a successful future is also refreshing. Read more below in a summary of our weekly activities to see what kind of “edu-tainment” was provided and how much the students care about being at Horizons.

Week 1: Who am I?Horizons PCRS sign with student

Of course, we have to start with the greetings and introductions. We’ve got a new batch of kindergarteners and the rest have moved up a level, hungry for new adventures and challenges. One of the main components of the Horizons program is swimming. Our partner, the YMCA of Portsmouth, provides daily swimming lessons for our K-7 students, which help build self-esteem and confidence in not only the activity itself, but in every aspect of learning. The students also get to know their marvelous new teachers and say hello again to our dear Ms. Henry, the program site director at PCRS.

Week 2: What makes a Hero?

During this week, I became an additional teacher’s aide to the kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Shantel Moore. We had to find some activities to put together for this week’s theme about heroes. We had a special guest from the Portsmouth Police Department come and talk about her contributions to the community as well as why it’s important for children to know that even though we live in a world now with a growing distrust for the police, that there are still many kind police officers who work to serve with respect for all. We also had a doctor from The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters come and teach students about the health industry and the aspects that make CHKD the best children’s hospital in the Hampton Roads area.

Week 3: How has history impacted me?ready for swim

This week, the kindergarteners were immersed into the ancient kingdom of Egypt. They were taught how to make hieroglyphics and made fantastic drawings of the infamous Egyptian princess, Cleopatra. The kindergarteners also went on a trip to the Virginia Aquarium, where they discovered the variety of species that inhabit our Earth’s oceans, rivers, lakes, swamps, and marshes. They even got to pet a Norway rat! Yuck! Actually, it was quite cute.

Week 4: Why water?Jamie with Bobby Scott

Unfortunately, I wasn’t present at PCRS this week, because I, along with our program site assistant, Casey, were attending a summit in Washington D.C as part of our Bank of America Student Leaders Program. However, when I returned the following week, Mrs. Moore had shown me the beautiful, little plants that the kindergarteners had grown after teaching them about photosynthesis. Water, being the main component of the process, was heavily emphasized. I was informed about a talent show that occurred on Friday that would return for a sequel during Week 5, which I will bring you to next in the following paragraph.

Week 5: What is the greatest invention?

This week, I was a temporary teacher’s aide to the fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Miriello. She taught the students about the myriad of inventions that we’ve depended on for the last few decades. She got them engaged in an activity to create a collage of the different inventions made.

Closing: lego robotics

Next week will be Horizons final week. A Field Day will be planned for Thursday, July 30, and it will be coordinated by Mrs. Moore. There will also be a site-wide Closing Ceremony rehearsal this week.

Thank You! Again, I’d like to thank Mr. Trowbridge and Mrs. Hughes for allowing me to experience Horizons for the first time. I’d also like to thank Mrs. Henry for making me feel so welcome at Horizons with her warm personality. I’d also like to thank Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Campbell, Mrs. Miriello, Mrs. Rodriguez, the Carroll sisters, Ms. Brooks, Ms. Sisson, Ms. Knight, Mr. Baker, Mrs. Goolsby, and Ms. Haynes for guiding me through the process of educating and enforcing discipline within the classroom. I’d also like to thank Brianna, Bri, Tony, Sierra, and Rachel for being such good friends to me over the past 5 weeks. I’d also like to thank Casey, my fellow Bank of America intern, for also being such a good friend and co-worker to me and for letting me share my adventure in D.C with her. Finally, I want to thank the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for choosing me as a 2015 Student Leader. Even though I sacrificed the majority of my summer to work, it was definitely worth it. I’ve gone on such an amazing journey within a few weeks with a significant increase in leadership skills because of you. Thank you all so much for making my summer a meaningful one!

From your new family member,
Jamie C. Nervil



Horizons Hampton Roads, Inc.


Horizons Hampton Roads is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt Virginia non-profit corporation established to provide academic and social opportunities to school-age children living in families with limited income from kindergarten through eighth grades. Click here to read our Privacy Policy.

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