Why I Serve – Peter Romano

“My name is Peter Romano, I am 22 years old, and I grew up in Pelham, New York. After completing my junior year of college at the New School, I decided to put my own academic career on hold in order to spend time working with City Year. I came to City Year because I feel the need to participate in what I hope will one day become a larger service movement. I chose City Year specifically because of its involvement in schools. City Year allows me to pursue my love of teaching while building upon the foundations of my dream for a proud society, while working with the most diverse and interesting group of my peers that I could have ever hoped to have met.

I am proud to serve on the Long Island City Young Heroes Team in Queens, New York, and I tell this to everybody that I meet. On this team, we devise and operate a free, Saturday service learning and leadership development program for local middle school students. We give them a unique opportunity to gain a hands-on understanding about the problems affecting their communities, as well as the leadership tools that they need in order to make a difference. My work at City Year is far from easy, but the overwhelmingly positive response that I receive from the youth has made the effort worthwhile. With my role as the team’s Events & Operations Coordinator, I seek to unite my youth with their classmates and their neighbors. I do this by delivering the leadership that they need in order to plan and lead their own path to civic unity.

My work here matters because the youth matter. By engaging the youth, I allow them to share and participate in my dream: the Civic Renaissance. My dream will be realized when our society learns to unite regularly, voluntarily, and wholeheartedly in order to assist in the progress of its own well-being. The key to the Civic Renaissance is the youth, because by getting people involved at an early age, they will be able to dedicate their entire lifetimes to building upon their commitment to service.

Every hour that I spend with the youth in this community is a strong expression of my civic pride. There is not a day that goes by where I don’t wish that I had been given the same opportunities that City Year gives these kids everyday. Their enthusiasm lets me know that they appreciate my work, and I am encouraged by their eagerness to participate. The impact that they have had on me has changed my life forever, and it is my belief that, together, we will be able to build the foundations of my dream for the Civic Renaissance.”

The Heroes program begins in January and run through May, meeting about three Saturdays a month in East Harlem, Long Island City or the South Bronx. If you are interested in volunteering as a team leader for our program please contact Danielle Wolfe at 212.452.8881

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