September 30, 2010 was City Year New Hampshire’s Opening Day ceremony. The event took place in Manchester’s very own city hall and displayed all four of City Year’s most important virtues: Spirit, Discipline, Purpose, and a whole lot of Pride. The energy in the room was flowing straight out of City Year’s dynamic Spirit. Through the unified chants, movements and dress of the corps itself, Discipline was evident. The whole Corps got their chance to proclaim their own personal Purpose for serving to all in attendance and anyone who might have caught it in Manchester’s local television station. Of all four, I felt that Pride was the most powerful that day. The unity and pride of the corps was strong, but it was the pride of everyone that came to support us that struck me. From every one who spoke that day, there was an powerfully evident pride in what City Year is doing and aspires to do in Manchester. It seemed as though the entire city was opening up its arms and welcoming us in. Proud to have us as a partner in the effort to give kids of this town a better education and fulfilling life. It was an amazing reminder for me of the big picture of what I am apart of.
The several preceding weeks for me were spent in Beech St. Elementary working with my 5th grade class and I was absorbed in the details of my own small but significant part in the service City Year provides in Manchester. Getting to see all the support and expectations of companies, organizations, and Manchester’s public officials was a welcome reminder of what I am a part of. Being surrounded by all this excitement, support and pride for City Year caused pride to begin swelling inside my own chest, Pride for being apart of something so powerful.