Alex Allen is the co-Executive Director for City Year New Hampshire. She has been serving with City Year for over 15 years and continues to pursue her passion for building a better future for all kids. Alex is a graduate of Bowdoin College, an avid runner, and mom to the coolest 7 year old on the planet. Check out whys she continues to serve!
I have been doing service thanks to City Year for the last 15 years. Service has become my way of life – a part of how my life functions. Service to me is about building community and strengthening every individual in that community. It is the process of – through action – showing people of all ages that they matter, what they do matters and that they can have an impact on the people and community around them.
I came to City Year because it was a place that seemed to take young people seriously. And I have been able to see that in action every day since. City Year on the ground is about putting young people in positions of amazing influence and power and trusting them to take that seriously and putting resources, training and responsibility directly in their hands. When we are really focused – I am so inspired by our ability to teach compassion, perspective and understanding. I remember when we used to talk about the idea that City Year was changing the world. Back when I first started – I thought that was a really big and really unreachable idea. However, what I have come to understand – and what has come to define why I still serve 15 years later – is that in fact we ARE changing the world. We are changing the world one simple interaction at a time. I believe that many of the world’s problems could be solved if each of us approached each interaction we had with an open heart, a fresh perspective, a desire to understand and motivation to make change and even start a revolution from something really small.
My service and the service that corps members do across the country has had tangible impact. I could say we helped kids graduate from high school, helped to renew green spaces and helped to teach a child about social justice. However, that is not what I think the most important part of our service is. Great service – service that is integrated and authentic – shows people what is possible. What is possible in their own lives, in their own communities and in the world. Service bends and expands people’s thinking about what can be and what should be. The service that I have been a part of over the years – and that I have witnessed accomplished by corps members all over the country – truly inspires others. And this isn’t inspiration in the “wow I am inspired in the moment kind of way” – but in the deep and lasting way that is about from that moment forth allowing someone’s hopes and dreams come to life. Service shows people that change is possible and gives those involved, those impacted and even those witnessing – the courage to make change happen for themselves.