Alumni profile: Jakita Walter, City Year Chicago
Debate has been a part of my life since elementary school even though I did not begin to debate formally until my senior year of high school. My year of debate at Lake View High School definitely impacted my academic success. It helped me overcome my fear of public speaking. I also developed excellent research skills that helped me both in high school and college. Being a Political Science major at DePaul University required me to do an intensive amount of research — debate equipped me with the necessary skills.
Last year as an assistant debate coach for Douglass, I really had an eye opening experience. I enjoyed seeing the debaters develop the same skills that I have gained from debating. My experience as an assistant coach led to my decision to pursue a career in the educational field. I always had a passion to teach, and coaching debate sealed the deal for me. Because my undergraduate degree was not in education, I searched for an opportunity that would help me in my pursuit. That led me to City Year, Inc., an educational non-profit organization that brings together young people from various backgrounds for a full year of service. During my year of service, I am currently working at the Bethune School of Excellence in the North Lawndale community as a math tutor and Attendance Coordinator. I also partake in City Year’s service projects throughout the city, such as our MLK Day of Service where we beautified two schools (Bethune and Powerhouse High School) and the North Lawndale YMCA. I am also currently pursuing my Master’s in Secondary Education with the hopes of becoming a high school history teacher.