Crowded school hallways filled with students laughing, shouting and the sound of old metal locker doors slamming make Maggie Miller feel right at home.
Maggie, an AmeriCorps service member at Flint Sourthwestern Academy, began her journey in education in 1981 as a paraprofessional. She never imagined she would return after retirement as an AmeriCorps member and have the opportunity to help students she knew in kindergarten navigate the rocky waters of high school.
“I’ve known some of these students since they were five or six. It’s been incredible getting to go through kindergarten all the way to high school with them,” said Maggie.
Through the Community Education Initiative, led by the Crim Fitness Foundation in partnership with the Flint Community Schools, Maggie is part of a team helping to create neighborhood hubs among the schools. Part of that team included Maggie’s son Josh, who attended Flint Community Schools and also signed on to serve as an AmeriCorps member. Through Community Ed, schools have been transformed into spaces where parents and residents can gather for a variety of programs and resources, including financial literacy classes, intramural sports, group exercise and dance classes and help with college applications.
Senior Malika Triplett said she has known “Ms. Maggie” practically her entire life. “She’s one of the sweetest people I know,” said Malika. “She gives me advice about school, food — everything! If I get into an argument with someone, she helps calm me down.”
This school year, Maggie and school staff took their junior and senior students on field trips to college campuses, giving them a chance to see college life up close. Malika says she plans to attend Clark Atlanta University to study social work and sociology.
Through her service, Maggie helps children find their passion in life and become successful — and it’s what motivates her each day. “These are my kids and I just want to see them be successful,” she said.