On Friday, September 9th, City Year New Hampshire celebrated its 12th Annual Opening Day. This year’s corps of 52 gathered outside of City Hall where leaders such as Mayor Gatsas addressed the importance of having a City Year program in our six partnering schools and how our service this year will impact the students and community of Manchester. During the ceremony, each corps member had the opportunity to share their “why I serve” statement. These “I serve” statements are the reason why corps members commit to a year of service. For some, it motivates while others, propel them forward in moments of struggle and hard times. This part of the program filled me with pride, more so than I thought it would. I felt this way because I realized that being a part of this year’s corps connected me to the corps that served in City Year New Hampshire and at other sites. When I was standing in formation, I was a City Year member, an alumnus to City Year New Hampshire and active AmeriCorps member. I understood the responsibilities and commitment that came with wearing my red jacket and left the ceremony dedicated to making a difference.
As part of our opening day celebration, the corps came together for a day of physical service at Girls Inc. We painted a map of the United States, two four squares, a number and letter snake, organized and itemized a storage closet and pantry as well as landscaped around the parking lot. What I remember most about this day was the sense of joy and community the corps shared during and after the projects were completed. I felt replenished and genuinely amazed by our potential and commitment to transform and inspire. I walked away that afternoon appreciating the effort and hard work that comes along with servicing a community need. There are many rewards that come with hard work, collaborating with others, and effort. These are all things that I aim to deepen as I continue to work with City Year.