City Year New York Graduation

Last Thursday, surrounded by more than 500 family, friends, sponsors, partners, board members, and alumni, City Year New York graduated our eighth and largest corps to date. Our corps members celebrated completing over 400,000 hours of service and making a difference in students’ lives targeting the ABCs.

The highlight of every City Year event is when the audience gets to hear directly from a corps member. The Graduation keynote speaker is unique to most CY events in that the graduating corps nominates their speaker. This year we heard from Michael Soldati, PS 13 Corps Member, who share thoughts and appreciation for the 2010-2011 corps.

Corps keynote speaker Michael Soldati

This has been the most challenging and rewarding experience of my adult life and one that I will carry with me forever.  I hope to come back to City Year in some regards, but for now I know we must part if I am to do my part in modeling for you all and for our children how a hero pursues their dreams. Therefore – I just want to say thank you, on behalf of every student that needed your tolerance, your encouragement, your creativity, your smile, every kid that needed turning around this year, I want to say thank you, because someone turned me around when I was astray, and that has allowed me to become the hero of my own life.

We would also like to congratulate Corps Members who earned special recognition for going above and beyond.

Anna Rivera Spirit Award: Anna Ray Rivera came to New York in 2003 as a founding City Year New York corps member after serving a year at City Year Boston. She was lost in a tragic car accident during Thanksgiving of 2003.  After losing Anna, we decided with her family, to honor her legacy with the Anna Rivera Spirit Award to recognize an exceptional corps member who upholds Anna’s commitment to City Year and to community service, maintains a positive attitude, and serves with an open heart and an open mind. Congratulations to Sarah Shutt for winning this year’s Anna Rivera Spirit Award.

Sarah Shutt with Terri Wysor, Mother of Anna Rivera after award presentation

David R. Caplan Commitment to Service Award: David R. Caplan is he Vice Chair of the CYNY Board and Dean of CYNY. Due to all that David has done and continues to do, to advance National Service and City Year New York, we honor a Corps Member every year who has displayed a similar work ethic, drive and commitment to service and education. This year we are excited to honor Leah Hoffman for her strong passion for education making a lasting impression on City Year New York.

David Caplan with David R. Caplan Commitment to Service Award winner Leah Hoffman

Finally we would like to thank and congratulate all of the friends and family of the 2010 – 2011 corps. Without you support our Corps Members would not be able to achieve the incredible impact that they had everyday in the schools and communities. We could not do this without your support and we look forward to continuing to work with you and our newest alumni as we launch our 9th corps this August.

See more pictures from Graduation
Photos by @Brieomalley