HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Hillsborough County Public Schools is looking for college students and recent grads to help build up a new program aimed at supporting its most vulnerable students and schools.
While seated with a group of third-graders, Sydney Shields is able to help guide students while getting hands-on experience in a classroom.
“I thought it was a wonderful way to have a job as a college student while also getting a lot of experience and helping out my schools,” said Shields, a sophomore at the University of Tampa.
Shields is one of two Fellows at Dunbar Elementary Magnet School in Tampa. Right now, Hillsborough County Public Schools is actively recruiting Tampa Bay area college students or recent grads for its Transformation Fellowship Program.
“I’m there to be an extra hand and extra set of eyes to support them in any way that they need it for that day,” said Shields.
Fellows will serve alongside teachers as tutors, mentors, and support staff in some of the district’s most vulnerable and high-need schools. The Fellowship Program also looks to mitigate the learning loss caused by the pandemic since 2020.
“Being in a Transformation school, we have so many students with diverse needs, and this Fellows Program really helps identify classrooms who could use extra support with an extra set of hands,” said Cynthia Crim, the Principal at Dunbar Elementary Magnet School.
The extra support isn’t lost on the young students either, like 8-year-old third-grader Vanessa Rosewallace.
“It’s amazing,” said Rosewallace. “You get to learn more, and it helps you like pay attention to the other teacher who’s actually talking.”
Fellows are expected to work between 15 to 25 hours a week. The paid Fellowship Program is also not exclusive to just students studying education.
“It benefits the teachers by giving them extra time to plan, extra time to figure out lessons, extra time with students,” said Shields. “It helps me by being in the classroom, getting that experience, and it helps the students because they’re getting extra time with teachers and extra time to get their questions answered.”
For more information on the program and how to apply, click here.