Izzy Fitzpatrick '18, Academic Coach

An aspiring math teacher and inspiring mentor, Izzy has enthusiastically participated in Project Coach and the Urban Ed Initiative since 2017. As she wraps up her senior year at Smith, she reflects on the value of witnessing young people in settings outside of the classroom where they model confidence and compassion.

PC: What are you doing now?

Izzy: I am currently a senior at Smith, and I will be graduating with degrees in Mathematics and French this Spring. I am currently exploring opportunities to teach math at the middle school or high school level.

PC: Tell us a highlight memory from your time with Project Coach.

Izzy: A highlight memory from my time with Project Coach was the first time I got to see the high-schoolers coach. Before that, I had only seen the students who come to Project Coach within the context of tutoring on Tuesday Academy which is much more academic. When I got to see them coaching the third graders, it was incredible to see the energy they brought as well as how self-possessed, confident and mature they were with the little kids.

PC: How did Project Coach impact who you are now, and what you’re doing in your life?

Izzy: Project Coach has impacted my life in several important ways. For one thing, getting the chance to tutor high schoolers in math has confirmed that teaching high school math is a career path I definitely want to pursue. For another, I’ve come to especially value programs that target underserved youth because I’ve seen how important Project Coach is to the students who show up day after day for the academic support as well as the community it provides. When I work as a math teacher, it is essential to me that I also participate in after-school activities so that I can uplift students as holistically as possible. Project Coach has shown me that it’s essential for young people to have adults in their lives building them up and encouraging them to reach their full potential. My work with this program has inspired me to bring this mindset to my own teaching.

PC: Team is a big part of life in Project Coach. Who’s on your team in your current life & work?

Izzy: I have several important teams in my life right now. In January I interned in New York City as part of the Urban Education Initiative and through that I became part of a team of educators and students were passionate about teaching underserved youth. That network and community of people has been especially valuable to me as I prepare to move to transition into my teaching career. I also have an incredible team of women around me at Smith that have supported me throughout my undergraduate studies. Being part of a team is essential and I’m glad our coaches are learning that early on.

PC: What big idea, project, adventure has your attention? What’s your next play?

Izzy: My next big adventure is to graduate and hopefully become a math teacher! Within that adventure I’m sure will be a million other adventures but I can’t yet say what they will be.

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