On Saturday October 22nd City Year New Hampshire held a Young Heroes Alumni Service Day as a way to inspire and engage former middle school participants of the program. Young Heroes is a service learning program for middle school student where they learn about different social issues and perform community service based on those topics. This year the Young Heroes program is not being offered by City Year New Hampshire, but we are committed to providing opportunities for these young people to serve.
Former Young Heroes corps member and City Year New Hampshire alumni, James Loomis (2010-2011), shares his thoughts below from a powerful day of service.
It’s been a little over 5 months since City Year New Hampshire’s Young Heroes Graduation ceremony, and many of the Young Heroes have now started their first year of high school. But when I saw them last Saturday during the Fall Young Heroes Service Day, it was as though nothing had changed. The kids still had the same goofy grins, and the same enthusiastic attitude about serving their community. Many, like myself, were up at the crack dawn in order to make it on time, and it was worth it.
The day started with games, both old and new, led by City Year New Hampshire’s latest batch of corps members, and a round Physical Training where the Heroes were able to teach the corps members a few new tricks: Starfish Jacks. Afterwards, we were split into teams and headed out on food drive to help support the New Hampshire Food Bank. As we walked we talked. We talked about music, about friends, and about school. But it was more than that. It was a chance to reconnect; a chance to renew our commitment to service.
City Year makes a commitment to today’s youth. It empowers them to make a difference; it shows them what they are capable of. I never had the opportunity to serve my community in middle school. I was never given the opportunity to. It wasn’t expected of me. When I asked the Young Heroes how they were continuing their service, they expected that question. They told me about joining their school’s ROTC or their progress towards reaching their monthly service goals. Then they asked me what I was doing.
I’m not a City Year corps member anymore, but I refuse to miss a Young Heroes service day. City Year is a support network for idealism. It allows all of us to keep each other committed to serving our communities. We collected 506 pounds of food last Saturday, but that wasn’t the true goal of our service. Our real service was showing up. Our real service was showing everyone involved in the Young Heroes program that serving our community is important to us, and that we were not alone.
James Loomis, City Year New Hampshire Alumni of 10′-11′
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