CYNY Registration Day: Far From Home Edition

Our final registration day is generally reserved for corps members that have moved to New York to do their City Year.  Today we are featuring three corps members who have all just moved to New York within the last 48 hours.



Jerry Carson
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

We have a City Year site in Milwaukee, why did you choose to serve in New York? Being from Milwaukee I wanted to serve somewhere else. I thought I could make a bigger impact in another city.

Why did you choose New York? New York is an amazing city. I am in love with the hustle and bustle of New York – there is always something going on. There is also so much culture and diversity here.

You just moved to New York yesterday – how was it finding an apartment? It was a really easy process. The day after I connected to the Facebook group and put my information in I got an email from my roommate. He was able to find the place quickly and from there we just had to wait until August 1st to move in. I am really excited to be living and working in East Harlem this year.

Are you nervous at all about getting in to service? I am most nervous about connect with the students. I know I will look like many of them, but not being from New York could be hard. I think it can be easier to relate to people who are from the same place as you. This will be the most difficult hurdle to overcome.

Do you have any special talents you would like to share? I am a man with no talent! I try to sing but I can’t sing… I can whistle pretty good – I can whistle the National Anthem. Is that weird?


Bobby Latona
Hometown: San Jose, California

How did you learn about City Year? I just graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Studio Art. One of my good friends and I looked into grad schools and different programs when he told me about AmeriCorps and City Year. I always enjoyed working with and tutoring and mentoring students, so City Year was a good fit. I always wanted to come to New York, so I applied and I feel really blessed to be here.

Yesterday was your first time ever in New York City. What did you do and have you thought about what you want to put on your New York City bucket list? I feel like I am living the dream here. You see so many places in New York on TV and it is crazy to actually be here. I went to Times Square yesterday and want to go to the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. I am trying to do all the tourist things.  Then I want to explore all the boroughs to get a real look at New York City and learn what it is all about.

What are you most excited about this year? I am really looking to working with and having an impact on students. I want to increase their attendance rates and watch their grades get better. I want my kids to not only graduate from high school, but have them want to go to college and grad school. It will be awesome to see a kid who is uncertain about school, work with them, and see a turn around.  



Eyenkebi Itina
Houston, Texas

How did you find out about City Year?
I heard about it through a summer camp. The people that worked there were AmeriCorps members and told me about City Year. A family friend also told me about it and wanted me to join.

How has the transition from Texas to New York been?

When you live in Texas, things are cheaper and you know your environment. Here, I don’t really always know where I am, but I chose New York because I wanted a chance to get away [from what I’m used to].  I noticed that I’m the only one from Texas – I feel special!

What are some things you’re nervous and excited about?

I’m so used to my family being around me. This is the longest I’ll be away from them. Even though I know a couple of people out here, I’m used to relying on my family.  I’m really excited about getting a chance to work with kids again and to get to know people! When I was younger,  I was a homebody and I didn’t really like going out and getting to know new people.  It’s different now that I’m older. It’s a community at City Year and we’re all doing the same thing, so it’s easier to talk to people. Finally, people who share my interests – yay!

What’s something you enjoyed about registration day today?

I’ve met some interesting people and I’ve learned more. I’ve read a lot on the program, but getting examples and answers in person really helped me.