Dear City Year New Hampshire Corps,
My name is Yulissa Hidalgo and this month’s blog will be about LACY, or Leadership After City Year. There are two questions I keep asking myself when planning anything LACY related that I would encourage all of you to ask yourselves. How will my experience at City Year New Hampshire (CYNH) help me move forward? What will I take with me from this year?
To answer these questions, I can’t help but think of some follow up questions. What does my commitment to service say about me? How does my commitment to my students in school and afterschool help me grow as a leader? How will service opportunities on the weekends enhance my leadership development? The answers to these questions may vary, but when I reflect on my service and everything I’ve accomplished, I feel invincible, like I can take on anything. My long days in school symbolize an assiduous commitment to education, and I know my year of service will forever inspire me to make better happen. Sometimes it may feel like our Red Jacket Ceremony, an event where staff and corps members are asked to dedicate their bombers towards something be a cause or person, took place ages ago, however, we should remind ourselves of why we are here.
Many Senior Corps Members (SCMs) have told me that my first year as a corps member will be completely what I make of it. For example, Senior Corps Member, Aaron Mohammed, was my crazy team leader at the start of the year and I asked him for some advice regarding STACY, or Staying at City Year, after my 10 months of service.
We had an inspirational conversation that can be summed up by his reference to the founding story of Sand into Diamonds. (Refer to this site for the full founding story. http://cityyearblog.org/about/founding-stories/sand-into-diamonds/) “I will always wish that I had picked up more sand my first year” he stated in a nostalgic manner. These words resonated with me because if I want to apply to become a SCM, I need to influence my own experience at CYNH by being more positive and resourceful to the rest of my corps.
My team leader Henocson Mulatre has been a great role model. He has taught me that being myself and learning to trust others will help me achieve many successes in work and life. From my regular check-ins with him to viewing his testimonial from last year’s Starry Starry Night (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6vWxdbsmUU&feature=share&list=PLD1D2B9FBC316C9B2), he has helped me recognize the importance of taking advantage of my last five months here. Aaron and Henny embody the type of SCM I would like to someday emulate; a leader that is both creative and tactful. I aspire to have a handful of diamonds by June that will remind me of how these hours of service have helped me grow as both an individual and a leader.
As I think about what I will take with me from this year, I know that it’s the difference I’ve made to my students. They have challenged me and moved me simultaneously. Our LACY plans will differ as we branch out to different career paths and various parts of the world. Like diamonds, our daily service experiences will transform into valuable memories. I wish you all the best of luck as you try to execute your LACY plans. Just remember that we have about five months left and we could all try to pick up as much sand as possible.
Yours in Service,