WINGSLeader Snapshot

Olivia Cifaldi, 21

WINGSLeaders are AmeriCorps members who are actively enrolled in college. For 2-4 years they mentor and teach at-risk elementary age kids powerful lessons in social and emotional learning (SEL) while inevitably strengthening their own skills and character. We've seen these bright young leaders soar on to promising careers including principals, teachers, lawyers, marketing execs, youth development workers, and guidance counselors. Studies show 90% of top workplace performers have high Emotional Intelligence (EQ), and this impact is so deep that we recently addressed and added its effect to our Theory of Change.

Olivia is a WINGSLeader serving North Charleston Elementary School students. We asked her some questions to learn more about her, and here's what she said:

I am a: Senior at College of Charleston

Major: Psychology           Minor: Spanish

WINGer since: 2012

What career or field are you looking to pursue after graduation?
I'm looking to enter the field of education, first to teach and then to eventually get into curriculum development. I love the area of Child Development. I love working with kids and I just want to follow my passion.

What have you learned through your service at WINGS?
I've learned a lot through WINGS! The creed has become a part of my life. I'm more self-aware and able to recognize my strengths and weaknesses, and how to use them. I've also learned to be more socially aware, or aware of others and to step into their shoes. Plus, behavior management techniques work with everybody, not just kids!

Has WINGS changed you in any way (habits, behavior, interactions, perspective, etc.) and how?
I've definitely gotten better at controlling my emotions. WINGS has changed my perspective socially, and I am also more aware of what's going on within education and amongst socio-economic classes.

What is your favorite part of WINGS?
Seeing the kids every day! I love seeing my WINGS kids! Getting hugs and pictures from them, giant dance parties, and especially seeing them grow. It's the best when I can see what they have learned this year and how they use it.

What North Charleston Elementary Program Director, Nicole Williams says:
Olivia is a hard worker and goes to great lengths to get to know not only her girls in the Doves nest, but all WINGS kids. She always has a smile on her face and a ton of energy. She is a team player and is always looking for ways to improve. She will surely be missed at NCES when she soars on up to Boston for a full time position!




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