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HH HOMEGROWN HEROES

TEACHING IS AN INCREASINGLY DEMANDING JOB THAT CAN BE EMOTIONALLY DRAINING, AND AT TIMES, SEEM IMPOSSIBLE. BUT WHEN IT CALLS TO YOU, AS IT DID PRECIOUS LANGO, THE CHANCE TO TRANSFORM LIVES OUTWEIGHS THE HARDSHIPS. BY DONNA LEAHEY PHOTOS BY MARC RAINS

Character

Study

Every morning, Precious Lango faces a task too daunting for most of us. She’s a math teacher at Webster Middle School in Tulsa, braving the wilds of adolescent education with joy, faith, and love for her job, her kids, and her new home. Neither teaching nor Tulsa is where she thought she’d end up when she graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2014. “After graduating college, I was sure I was going to be a physical therapist,” she says. “I had an internship planned and was waiting to hear back from the PT programs that I had applied to. Shortly after graduating, all the plans I had made fell through. I had to come up with something to do. A friend told me to check out City Year.” City Year is a member of the AmeriCorps national service network and is an education nonprofit dedicated to helping students and schools be successful. Since its founding more than 20 years ago, nearly 1 million men and women have stepped forward to serve, providing more than 1.2 billion hours of results-driven service to the nation.

PRECIOUS L ANGO

“I went online and after reading about the work that City Year does, I knew I had to be a part of this program. In the application process, there is an option to choose where you would like to serve or to serve where most needed,” she says. “Because I had never lived in any of the 25 cities that were listed, plus I’m a big believer in fate, I decided to serve where most needed. “God’s plans for me were different from what I had planned. I’ve now lived in Tulsa for three years teaching, and Tulsa is becoming more and more like home.” Lango’s time with City Year proved to her that education was her passion.

Education is the single largest priority area for AmeriCorps. Likewise, City Year believes that national service has a powerful role to play in improving educational outcomes for students. For every federal dollar invested in City Year through AmeriCorps, an additional $4 are raised in matching support through private and local resources.

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“I love being able to love, support, and encourage the kids I’m working with,” she says. “I want to show them that despite being told that they ‘can’t’ either by people or circumstances that in fact they actually ‘can.’ I love getting to work with them and seeing them go from not

Profile for Preview 918

April 2018 (Vol. 32, No. 4)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...

April 2018 (Vol. 32, No. 4)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...