Powerful Words, Packed House

Today’s guest blogger is Jordan Halane, Visitor Program Project Leader at CYNY. He co-leads the External Affairs Coordinators with Maria Avilez, Recruitment Project Leader. This group of corps members are responsible for planning our Open Houses and last night’s was not only a success, but also the largest one of the year.

Last night I attended the February Open House and as soon I entered the MLK Space, I was incredibly proud of the corps members I get the opportunity to lead as External Affairs Coordinators. Not only did the space look phenomenal, but the group of corps members recruited over 60 attendees who wanted to get a glimpse of what City Year is all about. The room was filled with alumni, potential applicants, parents, and newly confirmed corps members for our next year’s corps.

Corps members lead a presentation on what City Year is and what the application process consists of. This gave potential applicants the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the organization. However, the highlight of the evening were the three speakers who shared their City Year experiences and perspectives.

A New York native and CYNY ’11 alumna, Michele Santana, spoke about the relationships she built with students when she served at MS 424 in the South Bronx.

“The training you get with City Year is great, but the training means nothing if you don’t build strong relationships with your students.”

Veronique Green is also an alumna of the CYNY ’11 corps. When Veronique was in eighth grade, she was a member of the City Year Young Heroes leadership development program. She was given the opportunity to give back to the organization that invested in her by serving at MS 424 last year.

“I turned to City Year because I had mentors growing up. As a mentor, I wanted to know who my students were as people. We are their ears and we’re like an older sibling. We are their role models.”

The final speaker for the evening was Kevin Moore, a teacher at Mt. Vernon High School in Westchester, NY. To show our gratitude for his commitment to education, we awarded him with an official City Year bomber jacket at our Summit Conference last year.

“The City Year corps are the most powerful people I’ve been around in 20 years of teaching. I love these people. If you decide to serve with City Year, it will be a year you will never forget.”

After such inspiring remarks, potential applicants were able to mingle with current corps members over refreshments the Open House committee got donated from Trader Joe’s and Starbucks. I hope those who were in attendance walked away feeling as inspired and excited for service as I did. Great job to all who helped plan the event and thank you to the speakers and to those who attended.

Our next application deadline is February 15th. If you weren’t able to attend, check out the virtual Open House and learn more.