“It’s a privilege for all of us to serve at City Year.” – Putting idealism to Work (PITW) #158, City Year Idealist Handbook
My name is Yulissa Hidalgo and I am a proud member of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Team serving at Beech Street Elementary School. When reflecting on the past five months, I can’t help but admire the growth I have witnessed others experience as well as my own. City Year has helped me and my entire corps to live and serve with passion through civic engagement, in-school service, and inclusivity.
Civic Engagement: The City Year New Hampshire (CYNH) corps becomes an indescribable force on physical service days.
It was both an honor and a humbling experience to participate in an outdoor raking service project for veterans. I appreciated the opportunity to make an impact in the Manchester community and was deeply moved by my interactions with senior citizens that benefited from my direct service.
In-School Service: Our in-school service highlights our commitment to our students, teachers and elementary schools we partner with.
I signed up for a Literacy Night, an afterschool event at McDonough Elementary, which filled up quickly, and it was one of the most memorable nights I have had so far. To witness corps members from other schools engage with parents and students was heartwarming.
Inclusivity: Working to create a culture that makes all feel welcomed, valued, powerful and engaged – capable of contributing to a team and a cause that is larger than ourselves.
It is nothing short of amazing to realize how honest and welcoming our corps is to each other during lunch, trainings, or other activities. My personal favorite this year has been the work of a committee of corps members called the Trust and Joy Committee. This committee’s focus is tied to building a beloved community within our site and across all other City Year sites corps members serve in. For example, they recently created a cross-site appreciation video for City Year New York (CYNY). In it, some of our senior and first year corps members performed physical training exercises to Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”
I thought I knew what I was getting myself into by joining City Year, but these few months have proven to be quite a challenge. The struggles may continue, nevertheless, this has been an enlightening journey and it’s because of experiences like these, that I have no regrets.