As City Year Co-founder and CEO, Michael Brown, spoke at the New York offices Monday night, 50 corps members, staff and alumni hung on his words of gratitude, his personal journey and advice.
“Find something you’re so passionate about that no one can knock you off your stride…” Brown said. After sharing his story of being a Harvard law student and having attained a competitive clerkship, he said he needed to make a choice – continue on the path he was working towards for years or take the risk and continue with his new “City Year” project, which he felt impassioned by.
He chose City Year. But, the credit really goes to the corps members, he said. “We started recruiting corps members before we had a dollar…anything that has moved the organization forward comes from a young person in service.”
For many corps members, they know of City Year’s affiliation with the organization for national community service, AmeriCorps, but they may not know how it came about. Brown shared that former president, Bill Clinton, has said that his conversation with five City Year corps members in the 90’s inspired the start of AmeriCorps. Since then, thousands have given a year of service and still are , “You’re doing this out of the goodness of your heart and for the common good,” Brown said. “That’s powerful.”
Service, however altruistic it may be, can also be extremely exhausting. Brown implored corps members to get enough sleep and reiterated how important it is in order to do truly good work. Lastly, he added, “Enjoy it [the experience]. Take care of yourself and each other and have gratitude…and thank YOU.”
Below are a few, but check out more photos of the event in tomorrow’s “Wordless Wednesday” post!