Last week, the Senior Corps and staff of City Year New Hampshire traveled to Boston, MA to take part in the annual City Year Summer Academy. There, we took part in trainings that will help us to perform our upcoming roles to the best of our ability as well as have the opportunity to meet and discuss all things City Year with our brothers and sisters from sites around the country, and world! Overall, it was a week of growth and challenge for all of us, (not to mention a heat wave!) and we are all taking key inspirations and ideas home to NH to share with our site and #makebetterhappen! Following are the impressions our senior corps members took take away from this experience.
INSPIRING. CONNECTED. REJUVENATING.
“My biggest takeaway from summer academy was that we are connected beyond just New Hampshire. There are great things happening across the country at each and every City Year site. I found inspiration in almost every talk. It was amazing feeling part of a cause greater than self.” Kiyo Gomi, VISTA Impact Project Leader
EMPOWERING. HUMBLING. MOTIVATING. “After leaving Summer Academy having gained a ton of confidence, I am more inspired and prepared to lead a group of corps members. Prior to this experience, I only understood the idea of Ubuntu, but I am now exercising the concept on a daily basis. Never have I ever felt that my humanity was so closely tied to others than now. What I will be bringing back from Academy is the idea that this work is tough and that anything worthwhile will be both challenging and rewarding.” Josh Merritt, Whole School Whole Child Team Leader
COMMUNITY. UBUNTU. LEADERSHIP. “Every person I passed was another reason to keep going. The inspiration I thrived off of stemmed from speeches, personal stories, and the Beloved Community surrounding me. I will remember the spirit, discipline, purpose, and pride I carried around with me during that week, and make sure I transcend these qualities to the new incoming corps here at NH.” Amanda Forget, VISTA Impact Project Leader
ILLUMINATING. INSPIRING. FUN.
“Academy was a great experience, and a remarkable opportunity—though even now that I’m back, I’m still tired. It was a lot to take in and a lot to process, but there are a few things that really did resonate with me. Sessions that I had focused on corps member development, and the corps member experience. This helped me center on how I as a team leader can make my corps members year as strong, fun, and fulfilling as possible.” Josh Kellogg, Whole School Whole Child Team Leader
HUMBLING. ILLUMINATING. INSPIRING. “Coming to Academy and meeting Senior Corps and staff members from all across our network truly helped me reconnect to the bigger picture of our work. It was truly inspiring to know that all the struggles, love, success, mistakes and perseverance that I experienced last year was felt by people like me in cities all over our country and even some overseas as well. Summer Academy helped me to see the bigger picture, literally in a sense, of our work.” Harvey Vincent, Whole School Whole Child Team Leader
EXHILARATING. TOGETHERNESS. LEARNING. “My academy experience was incredible! The weather may not have been ideal, but it couldn’t dampen the spirit of Ubuntu that was felt by all. It was so eye-opening to meet and share best practices with so many other City Year sites from all over the world. I was inspired by the level of commitment to changing the world that everyone in attendance demonstrated. It felt good to be in a group of people who are dedicated to making the world a better place. I know that this year I will be taking all of the new ideas and best practices that I learned from the trainers and attendees and putting it into my role here at City Year New Hampshire. I can’t wait!” Liz Curette, VISTA Outreach Project Leader
ENERGY. PASSION. DEDICATION.
“In addition to incredible resources and techniques for student engagement and corps development, from Summer Academy I am taking away a strong sense of connection to the City Year New Hampshire site, to the City Year network, and to City Year’s organizational mission and goals. I am inspired to continue to serve this year and am fueled by the passion of the other Senior Corps Members who have committed to a year of service and staff members, some of whom have committed their entire careers to serving America’s students. It was re-energizing to connect with other City Year members who are equally passionate about promoting social justice and providing equal access to educational opportunities. I am ‘fired up’ to bring back a strong sense of ‘One City Year’ to New Hampshire.” Grace Slobodozian, Whole School Whole Child Team Leader
STIMULATING. MOTIVATING. REFLECTIVE. “After hearing about the experiences other corps members were having across the country, I feel ready to get to work to create the best year for my corps members. I was able to take the time to think about how my previous year can shape this year. I came to realize I need to stop regretting the things I didn’t do and start focusing on the incoming corps. In addition to this, as a site, we took part in some heavily reflective debriefs and conversations that opened my eyes to see that others were feeling the same things I have been. Most importantly, it is the feeling of connectedness, the passion and drive, the excitement and stimulation that I had at Academy that I will be bringing home to our site. We cannot forget the way we all left Boston feeling. It is imperative we carry this throughout out year. We must remind ourselves of it often, especially when things get difficult. It is these sentiments that will bring us through stronger than ever.” Chris Mancuso, Whole School Whole Child Team Leader