NYCE, please stand up!

Hello, and Happy 2007!

Are we really already in our fifth month of the corps year? How did this all happen so fast?! Well, hey there! I’m Lindsay, and I’m from sunny San Diego, CA. I graduated from the University of San Diego with bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies. I’m on the New York Civic Engagement (NYCE) Team for City Year New York, and I’ve had a City Year experience unlike the other corps members on this blog.

While all of my friends and fellow corps members are serving in public schools and mentoring young people, my six-person team and I are responsible for the planning and implementation of all physical service days. Initially, I was bummed that I wasn’t placed on a school-based team and that I wouldn’t see young students on a daily basis. That was the reason I had applied to City Year! In past jobs I have worked with young people ages eight to eighteen, and I loved it! I was worried that I didn’t know enough about basic construction, painting, murals, landscaping, and all these crazy documents the team had to complete! But to my surprise, I am absolutely THRILLED to be on this team. I will be the first to tell you that all of those things that worried me can be learned. Being on NYCE has allowed me to work more closely with the CYNY staff, to meet a lot of great external people, to enjoy the fun of physical service, to see every school-based team site (no other team will ever get to do this), and to take on a very big leadership position. An experience is what you make it, right? NYCE is working hard, and I am having a great time!

The holiday break was wonderful! Although NYC still hasn’t seen snow, it’s always nice to return to the fantastic climate of America’s Finest City, San Diego! I enjoyed the vacation, but NYCE hit the ground running on January 3rd! We were already months into planning the “super bowl of service days,” our MLK Day of Service! Each NYCE member had a specific directorship (Service, Operations, Programming, Recruitment, and Development-Media), and I was the over-all Director! I had been in and out of various meetings and site visits since October, but upon return from winter break, NYCE and the CYNY staff Advisors had twelve days to make all the finishing touches. We worked very hard (and usually 13- to 15-hour days, on average… sometimes more). But watching everything fall into place was amazing.

MLK Day was on Monday, January 15, and it was a huge success! Everything fell into place perfectly in the days leading up to the event. NYCE had been working until 11 PM or midnight and on weekends, so we were extremely tired. But the work paid off, because the corps only had to work seven extra hours on a Saturday. (In the past, it has been more than seven hours!) We engaged approximately 760 New Yorkers (excluding our 130 Young Heroes) in physical service to beautify the community of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn! We had one hub site (Boys & Girls High School) and two satellite sites (Bed-Stuy Restoration Corp. and P.S. 308). We had eleven media hits which really helped get the word out about City Year and how it benefits the community. Our service partners were very pleased with the service, and we had appearances by some important speakers: Mayor Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, the principals of the two schools we served in that day, Bank of America Chairman Alan Rappaport, Councilman Ed Townes, and Chancellor Joel Klein. MLK Day was a success for CYNY and a big accomplishment for the NYCE team!

And somehow we’re already approaching February! Time is flying! Onto Camp City Year!

In service,
Lindsay Sablan