What made you apply to City Year?
During my time at college I never saw myself getting into the education field despite my years of tutoring at Badger Springs Middle School. As graduation approached I asked myself, “What do I want to do next year?” With no desire to continue on to Graduate school right away I started looking at different service opportunities which is when I found City Year. The second I started reading the information on this organization I realized I could see myself giving a year of service to help in the community in which I had grown up.
Why did you decide to continue your service for a second year?
When my year of service was coming to an end I started reflecting on my experience. I realized that the reason I had such a phenomenal year was primarily due to the efforts of my team leaders, Eric Barbour and Macey McKinney. The amount of effort they put in to make our year of service truly memorable was astonishing. It was in that moment of reflective clarity that I saw this was what I too wanted to ensure the next year’s Corps Members. I wanted them to have the same memorable experience in City Year that I did, so I applied to become a Team Leader.
What are some lessons you learned or experiences you had at UC Riverside that translate to your work with City Year?
Entering UC Riverside I had led a predominately sheltered life by growing up in the suburbs. I was fortunate to be able to attend some great schools in Sacramento, but found myself with an underdeveloped view on the rest of the world. When I started tutoring in one of Moreno Valley’s most at-risk middle schools through a program offered at UC Riverside, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe that there were students about to go into High School still struggling with addition and subtraction. I couldn’t believe that getting three meals a day or a safe recess at school wasn’t a given. The knowledge that I gained through my growth in this program has made me more amiable to the plights faced by the students we serve in City Year. These experiences taught me to adapt my method of approach to each student individually to best help them improve.
Now that you will be leading a team of your peers, what are you most excited to share with them to prepare them for their service?
I am truly excited to impart the City Year culture on the new corps members because that is truly one of the defining aspects of this organization. The City Year culture is the binding glue that holds Corps Members together as a team and allows them to not only weather the difficult times throughout the year, but to come out shining on the other side and inspire the students we serve.
Do you have any advice for the new incoming Corps that will be serving the students here in Sacramento?
My one piece of advice would be to relax and enjoy the year. You only get one City Year and it will be over sooner then you know it. You don’t want to have any regrets at the end of the year.
What do you plan to do after graduating from City Year this year?
I plan to continue my education and pursue a M.B.A. in Healthcare Administration.