Brittany Maslowsky hadn’t heard of City Year until one day when she saw the logo on a bottle of Honest tea that she was drinking. After a little research online, She was thrilled to learn that it was similar to the other programs she had been interested in (AmeriCorps, Peace Corps), but for a younger group of people with a focus of working with kids. As a psychology major, she had taken classes about learning and education and realized that the current public system in the United States wasn’t quite all that it could be. The summer after graduation from the University of Virginia, she was given the opportunity to dedicate a month of her life to building a septic tank for an orphanage in Bangladesh. It was in Bangladesh that she truly realized just how important education is. Simply by learning to read and write, Bangladeshi children have more opportunities to rise out of poverty, meaning that their children will, in turn, have even greater opportunities for education and their future. City Year strives to provide similar opportunities in the United States, which is largely why she decided to join.
Brittany’s team at PS 213 is the first City Year team to serve at PS 213, and they are excited to be able to set precedents and show just how beneficial our programs can be, not only to the students and teachers, but to the entire community as well. Her teammates are now an extension of her supportive and communicative family, and thry are quickly becoming part of the school’s family. They are working towards helping the schoolchildren realize that City Year is not only here to help them effectively learn, gain confidence, and grow aware of the issues within their communities, but also to provide them with positive role models and somewhere to go when in need.
For Brittany, City Year has been more than just a service experience; she says of her new team “I have learned a great deal from all of my teammates and fellow City Year members. Above everything, the value of honestly and politely communicating one’s feelings has been emphasized. Although we do not agree all of the time, I have learned that people are able to effectively agree to disagree. It is fascinating to see and experience the break down of barriers and build-up of relationships. Everything that we are able to glean from one another can be put to use within our everyday work to create one beautiful collage of ideas to utilize in the schools and their communities.”