Five Things Friday: Opening Day Quotes

photo credit: David Andrako
  1. Itai Dinour, Executive Director, City Year New York: “The country is talking more than ever about what is happening in our schools, classrooms, and in the lives of our students… While I hope that this noise eventually leads to the structural solutions for how our nation can provide a quality education to every child, regardless of zip code. I at times, feel like our nation, with its 24 hour news cycle and constant twitter updates is slipping into a nation of talk, instead of a nation of action. And then I look out at the incredible, highly passionate young people — who inspire and give hope me otherwise… laces up their Timberland boots and zip up the equivalent of their special superhero cape and say — I am doing something about this.”
  2. Commissioner David Steiner, New York State Department of Education: “This is a small button (CY Logo) but it has a big message, A message of change, of hope, of dreams and I see that message in each of your faces and I am honored and humbled to be here with you…You are in a battle in the hearts and minds souls of our young people. You are their ally, their friend, their confidant… but above all you are a person who is there each day… I wish you the strength of this day every of the year to come, may it change not only the lives of the students you work with, may it change your own.”
  3. Susan Stern, Chair, New York State Commission on National and Community Service: “The energy and passion that all of you exhibit, and you haven’t even hardly started. I carry with me and I know all of us who work in this field, carry with us the energy and the commitment that you have made to service… I can’t thank you enough for what you are about to do for the possibility that you will change young people’s lives, there can be no higher calling.”
  4. Diahann Billings-Burford, Chief Service Officer, City of New York: “Even though you will have some tough days, you will look be able to look at that child that you are helping and that that will help you get through it…I don’t think we are at pivotal time because we finally realized that we need to figured  something out when it comes to urban education… I think the pivotal time that we are in right now is that we can use service as a real solution to the very pressing challenges… you are part of the answer. When you don’t think you are part of the answer know that I think that you are part of the answer.”
  5. Jordan Halane, Corps Member,  2010-2011: “Why do I serve? I serve because I grew up in a small town of about 20,000 people with wonderful parents, grandparents and teachers as mentors. I graduated with 13 other African-American males in my class and just 2 of us went to college; me on an academic scholarship and my best friend Michael on a football scholarship. Those other two guys were intelligent, great guys but they didn’t have mentors like I did that valued and pushed education daily. Now most of them are still in my hometown, having kids or selling drugs just trying to make a buck. I serve because I was blessed to get my education, and so many others I grew up with didn’t have that opportunity. I serve for my kids at 424. They’re intelligent, beautiful and talented. And I want them to know that regardless of their race, what zip code they were born in, or their socio economic status; that if they work hard, through education they can be whatever they aspire to be.”