Last week, 900 AmeriCorps members, from 30 different programs, came together in Albany, for the New York State Commission on National & Community Service Kickoff Event. The day was filled with energy, idealism, determination and hope. The inspirational program started with some of City Year’s signature PT moves before we heard from the event speakers.
First up was Mark Walter, Executive Director State Commission on National & Community Service, who used one of City Year’s Founding Stories, The Starfish Story, to share his vision of the incredible impact that all 7,800 AmeriCorps members serving across New York State will make this year. Next we heard form the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Education, Dr. John B. King. Dr. King a Brooklyn native, shared perspective about the challenges that many of us will face, working in some of our states most high-need schools and communities. After seeing the dedication of the many people in the room, he was optimistic about the future of education in New York.
“The transformative impact that you will have this year will provide hope in communities where there is often despair… You have the opportunity to be the difference for somebody.” -Dr. John B King
As alway, the part of the program that got the most cheers, was when current AmeriCorps members shared their personal testimonials from their service. We were lucky to have our own Jordan Halane speak and to get a copy of the video, posted above.
Other highlights included a volunteer fair that highlighted employment opportunities throughout NY, this year’s corps taking their AmeriCorps Oath of Service, and a moving musical performance by Giovanina Bucci, from AmeriCorps for the Adirondacks.