Over 900 AmeriCorps Members Kick Off Their Year of Service

Today’s guest blogger is our Events and Alumni Project Leader, Susan Varghese. Follow her on Twitter here

AmeriCorps2 (1 of 1)City Year New York joined over 900 AmeriCorps members from across New York State to  kick off their year of service at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany on November 13th.

The morning started with some PT (physical training) led by four City Year Corps Members and Senior Corps to get everyone energized for the morning. The keynote speaker, Geoffrey Canada, CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone, captivated the audience with his experiences and advice.

Some of the key points of advice he mentioned were:

1) Figure out who your role model is
2) You’re not as dumb as you think you are
3) You’re not as smart as you think you are
4) You’re not going to know when your moment is going to occur, but you have to prepare yourself…there is greatness waiting around the corner…you just have to put the work in to prepare for it.

After Mr. Canada shared few anecdotes about watching a movie with the president, having dinner at the White House and his path to the Harlem Children’s Zone, he concluded with saying, “Next time I see the president, I’ll tell him, ‘I saw the next leaders of the country and they look good.'”

Soon after, Susan Stern, Chair of the State Commission on National and Community Service led the AmeriCorps Member Oath of Service and AmeriCorps alumni, Jazmine Lewis from the Harlem Children’s Zone addressed the crowd. ” I sat in your seat 19 years ago, ” Ms. Lewis said with a smile. “Get ready because you have no idea what’s in store.”

Lunch and an AmeriCorps Program Service followed the morning program. The last event of the day was the AmeriCorps Member Servant Leader Training, where all the AmeriCorps programs broke out into groups to have discussions on issues facing our communities and the role of a “servant” leader.

Check out the Tweets below from some of our inspired CMs on their kick-off day experiences: