Five Things Friday: Why I Serve Edition

Today’s Five Things Friday features five of the “Why I Serve” statements from this morning’s Opening Day ceremony.

1. “I serve to give back to the community that raised me, to inspire kids to strive to reach their full potential, and to encourage them to gain an awareness of the many resources available to them. I serve to better this community, my community, because someone once believed in me and I want to be that someone for the students I work with every day. I serve to endow students with the realization that if they can dream, they can truly achieve.” -Swati Chandhoke, Corps Member, IS 204 HSBC Team in Long Island City, Queens.

2. “I serve to give back to the community that raised me, to inspire kids to strive to reach their full potential, and to encourage them to gain an awareness of the many resources available to them. I serve to better this community, my community, because someone once believed in me and I want to be that someone for the students I work with every day. I serve to endow students with the realization that if they can dream, they can truly achieve.” -Swati Chandhoke, Corps Member, IS 204 HSBC Team in Long Island City, Queens. -Peter Schoffelen, Corps Member, PS/IS 111 Team in Long Island City, Queens.

3. “I serve to be a resource for every student who doesn’t have access to the same academic opportunities that I had growing up.I serve to show every student who has been labeled and told they can’t succeed because of the 5 digit zip code they were born into, that they can achieve whatever they want in life. I serve for every student who doesn’t have someone who believes in them, even when they don’t believe in themselves. I serve because even though I’m only one person, I have the power to make a positive difference and to help shape a brighter future for the students of MS 424.” – Darnnel Lahens, Corps Member, MS 424 Alcoa team in the South Bronx

4. “I serve because I am a strong, independent woman with a vision to change the world. I want to leave this world a better place than I found it. My goal in life is to continue to challenge myself to make an impact in my community. I serve because I had a mentor who told me I am at my best when I am reaching for the stars. If it wasn’t for her guidance and compassion, I know I would not be here today. My mentor demonstrated to me what it means to be a true servant and leader. I serve to follow in her footsteps.” -Jubilee Westergaard, Corps Member, PS 112/206 Citizens Team in East Harlem.

5. “I serve because I entered college reading at an 8th grade level. Because although I managed to pass through the public education system, I was left behind. I serve because struggling with reading comprehension at 18, made me feel insecure and incapable of working with my peers. But this struggle has empowered and taught me the value of my education. It is the only thing that can never be taken away from me. I serve because I believe a quality education is a right not a privilege. As a member of this society I feel the responsibility to help develop the leaders of tomorrow, and be the role model I never had. I serve for a purpose. I serve because this is who I have become.” -Karen Beltran, Corps Member, M.S. 302 CSX team in South Bronx

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