They buildOn:Enthusiastic Advisor Sharon Yu Goes Above and Beyond

By: Clarisa Ramirez, buildOn Communications Intern

Curie Metro High School has a modest program advisor. Sharon Yu would rather talk about her phenomenal students than herself, but buildOn programmer Danielle McCarthy tells us that she’s stellar. “This is my third year of programming, and no insult to any other advisor, but she goes above and beyond,” Danielle says of the history teacher. “Every Saturday she is out there with me and the students, taking photos. She’s a buildOn cheerleader to the max.”

Danielle says Sharon’s enthusiasm has been infectious as she’s committed herself to programming for the past two years, doing everything from filling out paperwork to running to Cosco for snacks to chaperoning dances. We’re proud to have such an excellent role model supporting our organization.

What were you doing before you joined buildOn?

This is my third year of teaching. During my second year, the person who used to run buildOn at the school was doing grad school so I took it on along with another teacher. I knew about community service when I first got hired… I went on the Martin Luther King Day Chicago Cares trip and it was great.

[pullquote]I love interacting with the students who join buildOn. They’re so funny, so hilarious. Their personality in the classroom is very different.[/pullquote]

What do you bring to buildOn?

I bring leadership, and I’m very humorous around the students. I bring students knowledge about service learning, about helping other people. In the process of reaching out, they’re learning about different people, different situations, and they’re learning about themselves and gaining knowledge.

How has buildOn changed your life?

Immensely. I am going to Mali in the summer with buildOn and two other students. I’m sure it will be once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. I would not have gone to Africa on my own. I think with buildOn my relationship with the students has changed immensely, too… I love interacting with the students who join. They’re so funny, so hilarious. Their personality in the classroom is very different.

What are some of your favorite memories working with buildOn?

The forest preserves trips were very fun and interactive with the environment. We had a bonfire where the students cut the buckthorn, and then we burned the invasive species. Another memory I really enjoyed was the CTA (Chicago Transport Authority) scavenger hunt where students took public transport and went around the city learning to use CTA and looking around for sites. It was pretty cool.

Complete this sentence:

buildOn is… an opportunity for me to work with various people. I don’t think I would have this opportunity to meet so many people in various fields of work otherwise.