Five (+1) Things Friday: Why Do I Serve?

All of our corps members have a unique story and came to City Year for different reasons. Yesterday, at our Opening Day six of CYNY’s finest took the stage and shared why they serve.  Today’s Five Things Friday is dedicated to their stories. 

Why do I serve? I serve because I want to help bridge the academic gap in our public schools by giving the individualized attention, confidence, and resources to the students who need it most.

My name is Natasha Rodriguez, I am 21 years old from Leonia, New Jersey and I proudly serve at Central Park East Middle School in East Harlem as a member of the tenth anniversary corps.

Why do I serve? I serve because I believe it takes a community to educate a child. I serve not because I feel sorry or piety my students in anyway but because I see the potential in all of them. I know the feeling of being hopeless and falling off-track on your education but I was lucky to have a loving family and a supportive community to get me back on-track. At I.S 171 I want to be part of that community that guides my students on the right track and inspires them unleash their full potential. 

My Name is Marco Milea, I am 22 years old from Poughkeepise, New York and I proudly serve on the I.S. 171 team in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn as a member of the tenth anniversary corps.  

Why do I serve? I serve for my family both near and far. For my brother and sister back home receiving an education, and for my brothers and sisters out in the world searching for their dreams. I serve for the ones who cannot yet serve, and as an example to those who will. I serve for the past, and all it has given me. The present for all it can be. I serve the future for the belief that it can and will be better.

My Name is Austin Radford, I am 20 years old from Fairport, New York and I proudly serve at P.S. 149 in East New York, Brooklyn as a member of the tenth anniversary corps.

Why do I serve?  I serve because I believe in the social justice of education.  I serve because my parents came to this country from poverty in Greece, without knowing a word of English. I serve because from those humble beginnings, today, they each hold masters degrees, and put four kids through college. I serve because I hope to hear a million stories like that of my parents throughout my life, and I believe in City Year’s role in making this hope a reality. 

My name is Nina Souliopoulos, I am 22 years old from Middletown, New York and I proudly serve at I.S. 204 on the HSBC Team in Long Island City Queens as a member of the tenth anniversary corps.  

Why do I serve? I serve because I was one of those kids that I will be helping this year. Students are faced with challenges that force them to grow up quicker, so much so that they forget to enjoy their childhood. I want to remind this generation to cherish their younger years while also preparing them for life through the lessons of education because the greatest weapon against ignorance is a free thinking mind.

 My name is Andrew Torres, I am 23 years old from Bronx, New York and I proudly serve at P.S. 75 Citizens Team in the South Bronx as a member of the tenth anniversary corps.  

Why I serve? I serve to eliminate excuse by exemplifying excellence. To serve as a reflection and connection of one’s past to one’s future. To look in a students’ eyes and see the doubt which has led her to believe that she never will see the light at the end of the tunnel, the understanding of a difficult subject, the diploma at the end of June, the degree at the end of May. I lace up my tims, zip up my jacket, look in the mirror and smile cause I used to know a girl just like her, Me.

My name is Tiffany Williams, I am 24 years old from Shreveport, Louisiana and I am a proud serve at Newtown High School Microsoft Team in Elmhurst, Queens and as a member of the tenth anniversary corps.

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