Solange Louis, a senior at Sheepshead Bay High School shares her experience working with City Year. Solange worked with former corps member and current New York Civic Engagement Team Leader, Cole Carothers last year.
A part of City Year’s idealistic culture is our “Founding Stories,” which is a growing collection of stories and quotes from many cultures. As our Co-Founder and CEO Michael Brown has said, “Founding Stories are the collective civic values that guide City Year, set the organization on course, and remind us of the most fundamental motivations for our work.” One of them is called the “Starfish,” and a short, adapted version is included below.
Fun fact: Solange is Cole’s starfish!
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A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”
The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”
— Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley