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May 18th

February 2, 2012

Photo by Laura Slotkoff

By Michael Cohn-Geltner, Service Team Leader

After May 18, many City Year New Orleans corps members will never again have to routinely wake up before the sunrise, step inside of a classroom or swing a pickaxe. The job we have become so committed to, and so talented at, will end with a formal graduation ceremony. Community leaders, friends and family will attend. Our 10-month commitment will be over May 19.

From the second we get our boots, we knew our time with City Year is limited. Now that it is 2012, it is starting to sink in that we have only a handful of months left. Knowing this, as an organization, City Year helps corps members plan for their future. We call this a corps member’s LACY plan, which stands for Leadership after City Year.

There are some logical next-steps. The majority of this year’s corps members will be filling out applications for teacher fellowships, City Year senior corps and graduate school. However, the number one LACY plan this year, and last year, was a nebulous three-letter word: job. Some qualify that by saying, “non-profit job” or “Government Job.” Others, like me, just wrote, “job.” I have two qualifications for a job; I want to enjoy it, and I want to be paid minimum wage. This means my search is very open ended.

My LACY plan at the end of my last year was to apply for senior corps, which I obviously got. I know I do not want to teach, and I know that I do not want to attend graduate school. Through City Year, I have developed many contacts in New Orleans and useful job-hunting skills. I have been sending out requests for informational interviews and attending 504ward networking events. I search through and every weekend. I am confident that I will find a job that meets my two criteria. However, I cannot help but feel nervous as the current date slowly ticks forward to May 18.

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