Today guest blogger is Ylia Wilson who currently serves as a senior corps Service Leader on the New York Civic Engagement (NYCE) team. On the NYCE team, Ylia serves as the Project Planner where she is responsible for designing the service projects for volunteers to complete on service days. However, last week, Ylia also served as the Conference Director for the North East Civic Engagement Summit.
This past weekend, City Year New York Civic Engagement staff, senior corps, and corps members from four different sites along the East Coast came to New York City for the first ever Northeast Civic Engagement Summit. There were 22 participants in total from City Year New York, City Year Boston, City Year Washing ton, D.C., and City Year Care Force. We spent two and a half days learning about the structure of other Civic Engagement programs, sharing best practices, discussing challenges we face at our sites, and completing 5 hours of alternative service.
Each Service Leader on the NYCE team completes a Capstone Project- a project that is designed to leave a lasting legacy at City Year. So, as a part of my Capstone, I called this Summit and planned the weekend to connect Civic Engagement members across the network and continue to mold a stronger program. At Summer Academy, we spent some time together training as a Civic Engagement family, but since then we’ve have had little interaction with other sites. I knew that we had a lot to learn from other teams that were going through a similar service year, and could use some of their best practices and support for the remainder of the year. It can feel lonely at the site level being the only team focused on Civic Engagement, but there was an overwhelming sense of unity among the group once we were all in the same room together. I would be lying if I said there was not a group hug before the end of the weekend.
My hope is that this Summit becomes an annual occurrence and can continue to help perfect the Civic Engagement Program at City Year nationwide. Thanks to all who support the event and to the Civic Engagement teams who attended. Check out pictures from the weekend here taken by Boston Civic Engagement Service Leader, Graham Zinger.