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After transitioning from a recreational staff member to a teacher at the Gifford Youth Achievement Center (GYAC) in 2019, Mr. Russell has supported his students in the classroom, allowing them to build a strong foundation academically. He inspires his students to keep going despite their challenges and serves as a positive mentor.

To learn more about him, read the brief Q&A below:


Q: When did you start working at GYAC?

A: “I started working at GYAC in the summer of 2019.”


Q: What grade level do you teach and why?

A: “I teach first grade.” Mr. Russell enjoys teaching this age group because he believes creating a strong “foundation for a child is the most important.” “I am able to give my students the foundation they need” to move forward.


Q: What’s your favorite subject?

A: “History. I like history because we learn from the past,” so in order for it not to “repeat itself, people must learn from it to go on.”


Q: What do you do outside of GYAC?

A: “I like to barbecue on the weekends. It is a big hobby for me.”


Q: What advice would you give your younger self?

A: “Stick to your plan in life and don’t let that go. If you want to achieve something, see it through. Don’t stop and say you’ll do it later. Just go for it.”


GYAC is excited to begin another school year with Mr. Russell, who continues to support his students with building a strong foundation in the classroom. This foundation certainly lasts a lifetime. To keep up with the latest updates about our programs, be sure to follow us on social media.

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