CM Reflection: LACY Day

Today’s guest blogger is Jelani Goodwin, a corps member on the TowerBrook PS171Q team.

Alumni Panels during LACY Day 2013

Alumni Panels during LACY Day 2013 – Jelani Goodwin is in the center with a blue shirt

On October 18th, the Corps Members along with Senior Corps Members had an entire day dedicated to helping with their Life After City Year (LACY). At first, I wondered, ‘ how can LACY Day help me and my grand plans of getting my own apartment in New York City at the end of this year?’  I had no idea how I was going to meet this goal, but I knew LACY Day was a start.

My first session accurately placed me into my primary plan of action, *The Road to Senior Corps* panel, filled with team leaders and staff members. Becoming a Team Leader was my primary plan of action because  doing a second City Year as a Team Leader would greatly benefit me in helping me achieve my end of the year goal. The panelists explained the differences between being a corps member and senior corps member. I asked the panel if they had any regrets financially in their decision to come back; they all showed a slight bit, but in the end declined any true regret and stated that they’d do it all again, which was exactly what I needed to hear.

The next session I had was Project Planning, which gave an extremely strong mix of corporate and team planning for projects. It was quite insightful; introducing the model of the “Golden Circle” a standard of actions demonstrating  “Why, How, & What”. The Golden Circle shows a person or group of people the reason for undertaking any project or buying any product first (the “why”) then continues to show them what steps exactly are taken to get to that reason (the “how”), then finally shows the actual thing(s) produced to achieve that reason (the “what”) which is how the Golden Circle works.  The facilitators were members of New York Life (the event sponsor for LACY Day), and were very knowledgeable. I left feeling equipped to handle any session.

After lunch was my favorite session of the day – A Focus on my Development. This one gave us a chance to reflect really hard on ourselves and how others see us to help us clearly recognize the values that we really hold dear. It also showed us how to craft the vision that we have for ourselves for our future. This to me in itself was invaluable as it helped me get a further grasp on what direction I want to shoot myself in after City Year.

The final session was an Alumni Panel, comprised of City Year alumni. This solidified the importance of figuring out my LACY plan. Two of the panelists were City Year Staff, who also did a corps year before. They spoke about the opportunity for a potentially strong career here at City Year and other organizations. They laced in the theme from the end of our basic training retreat held in August, which was Joseph Campbell’s mantra: follow your bliss. It reinforced that whatever your talents and skills are, they can definitely be applied to a good job, but you just have to make it work and find where they’d be of the best use.

At the end of LACY day, I still did not have an exact set plan for what actions I’ll take towards my goal by graduation; however I did receive an abundant amount of insight. The road to senior corps session helped me to be more confident in pursuing the position of Team Leader. The project planning session helped me become more knowledgeable on being a part of any kind of project-oriented assignment. Focusing on my development and the Alumni Panel helped me look further into what I really want, ie: my apartment. It also helped show me what I value and how to work my options, experiences, and skills presently and in the future.