This post was originally posted on the A Slice of Life blog and is written by Nick Martin, Recruitment Manager at City Year New York. A Slice of Life is the Official Blog of Syracuse University Career Services and is a way for the university to communicate with SU students and alumni.
My wardrobe mostly consists of Orange t-shirts, not necessarily my favorite color, but an indicator of my Syracuse pride. At Syracuse University I majored in International Relations, International Security and Diplomacy, with a geographic concentration in the Middle East and a minor in Communications and Rhetorical Studies. Obviously, I chose my major based on the length of its name. Joking aside, my addiction to current events and news grew exponentially throughout my college career. In selecting the major that I did, I made the decision to not turn a blind eye to the many pressing issues we see in our global community every day.
First steps after college…
I finished my degree in International Relations and merged my personal passion for volunteerism into a pursuit of a humanitarian career path. I committed to a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) with the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay in Disaster Services. I worked to improve emergency preparedness efforts and relations in 145 communities through the execution of a strong liaison program with government, volunteer community, and non-profit partners. I was responsible for leading a team of Red Cross responders in over 26 local disaster scenes, assisting more than 150 individuals with disaster relief services.
The experience stretched me out of my comfort zone, humbled me beyond belief, taught me how to utilize my untamed passion for impactful good and showed me the path I wanted to follow when my year was up and beyond.
Turning My Passion into a Career
My year of service ended in Boston on a Friday and I started at City Year the following Monday in New York City. I now proudly serve as an Admissions Manager at City Year for a regional team based out of New York. Every 26 seconds, a student gives up on school in America; we can’t ignore this crisis. High school dropouts are three times more likely to be unemployed and eight times more likely to be in jail or prison. I’m propelled by this challenge and more importantly the successes of our efforts.
City Year is a national organization that partners with schools to improve the chances that students will graduate from high school. We focus on neighborhoods where 50% of the students are at risk for dropping out and have strong evidence our programs are working. As the Admission Manager I recruit, interview, and hire idealist, 17 to 24 year olds, to give a year of their lives to serve full-time in some of America’s most under-served schools. We provide critical services like tutoring and after-school programs, giving students the role models they need and making the schools more engaging places to learn.
I share in the City Year founding vision that one day every student will turn to his/her peer and ask the common question, “Where are you doing your year of service?” I applied to City Year because so many of the ominous issues we see in our global community can be directly tied to education. I encourage you to answer the call to service and put more Orange in our Red Bombers.