Anchoring national service in intergenerational collaboration
“Young folks have more language and tools to talk about disparities between race and zip codes, and the older AmeriCorps members have the lived experience of those things. Together, they lift each other up.”
Arielle Ayala was born and raised in Chicago, IL. A daughter of a Salvadoran father and Argentine mother, she grew up attending Chicago Public Schools and was encouraged to attend college. As a first-generation college student, Arielle supported herself by working multiple jobs while attending Harold Washington Community College, where she earned an Associate’s degree and Loyola University Chicago, where she majored in literature and minored in philosophy, graduating cum laude.
Arielle joined Teach For America to support students the way she experienced support from her teachers growing up. She moved to Stockton, CA and taught at Edison High School while continuing her education at Loyola Marymount University, where she received her Master of Arts in education policy. Her love of education soon expanded to a desire to affect change in ways that she saw necessary for all students to be successful.
Arielle then worked for a year at California’s State Capitol, where she focused on education policy and used her perspective from the classroom to advocate for students and teachers. She then returned to Stockton to help develop a program that will provide many services for students and their community.
Arielle currently works as the associate director for Stockton’s place-based initiative, bringing together and developing programming for diverse groups of AmeriCorps members serving the Stockton community.