A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of serving in my first Martin Luther King Service day by City Year. It is customary to serve others on days like Christmas or Thanksgiving, but after being a part of City Year’s biggest service project of the year, this might be added to my annual service projects.
This year our service project was at Arthur Ashe Charter School, which is also a school that City Year serves . During our service day I had the privilege of working with the City Year Alumni Team. It was such an amazing experience to work with people still so passionate about City Year. Of course, everyone I know is passionate about City Year; an extensive City Year team and teachers who need our support are constantly surrounding me.
The Alumni that I met had graduated between 2-7 years ago. They did not serve in New Orleans but they came to show their support for our great cause. They all had new and different jobs, came from different backgrounds, and served in different places. We all had one thing in common; City Year. City Year inspired our dedication to serve and I know when I become an alumni that I will serve my community as a City Year alumni.
My roommate introduced me to this book, about a Nigerian woman who’d moved to America for a better life and through reminiscing actually decides to go back home to Nigeria, a little over winter break and I still haven’t finished reading. But through my roommate’s introduction of this work to me I realized just how small the literary world can be. The author of the book was also the woman speaking on feminism in Beyonce’s self-titled album. It was so interesting to read her work and then hear the voice behind it in a whole new light. It was also cool to already know who the woman was. Pay attention to the authors whose works you read, they may pop up in what you thought to be the most unlikely places, like hanging out with King Bey.
Photo Courtesy of: Vogue.com
The story of the book sets place in 1960 explaining the truth and struggles of six-year-old Ruby Bridges, a young African American girl, who entered a whites-only school in New Orleans. Even though she had to pass through crowds of angry protesters, Ruby bravely walked into the school. Everyday for months, Ruby persevered. White parents pulled their children out of the school, and Ruby and her teacher were alone in the classroom. Still, Ruby and her family would not give in.
The Kindergartners can hardly believe it – we’ve been in school for 100 DAYS! The idea of counting that high is overwhelming enough. To celebrate the 100th day, we had a daylong celebration to commemorate the event.
The kids were elated to do all sorts of activities involving the number 100. We started the day off asking, “What would YOU do if you had 100 dollars?” Needless to say, the answers were entertaining; perhaps my favorite response was,
“If I had 100 dollars, I would get a Bugatti.” Read more…
“Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance.” – Anonymous
I read this quote recently and was so struck by its candidness that I had to share it for this week’s Motivational Monday. Being a corps member is challenging work and there are days where I don’t feel like jumping up with glee when my alarm goes off. Even if you come into this year with what you believe is a pretty good idea of what the year will hold for you, there will still be some surprises. Nevertheless, I’ve found that leaving all your preconceived notions at the door is a way to make sure you get the most out of this experience. My year of service is not about me, it’s a daily practice of focusing on the needs of those around me. So until May 1st you can catch me dancing. Making the absolute most of the remainder of my 10 month commitment and inviting others to dance with me.
As our first semester wraps up and Quarter 2 of grades come to a close I felt compelled to say it’s good to see you. If we’re being completely honest I wasn’t sure if I’d be around to meet you. A long bumpy road led me to Louisiana and to City Year but when it’s all said and done and I think about the experiences I’ve had, I’m glad I made it. I think over the past five months I’ve learned three extremely important things. Read more…