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October 31, 2012

By Liza Drennon, Corps Member Proudly Serving at Samuel J. Green Charter School

Joining City Year was exciting, but actually arriving to New Orleans and meeting everyone in the flesh was a different story. I felt like I didn’t fit in at all:  I am the youngest, not very outgoing, and not very open to talking about my life and what I had to offer to this next year. The first few days of training were rough. I had not made strong connections with my roommates like others had so I was never very sure who to talk to, I never really knew who to eat lunch with, and I did not have anyone to lean on after a long day. That all changed on day 3.

On my third official day of City Year, I met Fidgi Simeon (pronounced fee-gee). We locked eyes from across the room and spontaneously made faces at each other that summed up what we were both thinking about the current training.  From then on, we were inseparable.


Every day we saved seats for each other, chatted like old friends and cracked jokes throughout the long days.  Fidgi helped me get through the transition period into City Year.  We knew that we had to be on the same team, and campaigned to be placed together.  Placement day came, and I felt as jittery as Harry Potter on sorting day.  I was one of the first placed, and nervously waited for the rest of my team to join me.  Someone must have been listening, as Fidgi and I were both placed with Samuel J. Green Charter School.  I was thrilled. Not only was I in a group where I knew someone, but I was also with someone who I had made an instant connection with.

Fidgi and I started spending much more time together.  We bonded on so many levels and silly quirks such as hating to sit for too long and enjoying people watching.  Specifically, we both loved seeing the reactions of our colleagues sitting on hard plastic seats in a training at school.

Not only were we on the same team, but we were luckily put into grade levels that spend a lot of time together:  Her being kindergarten and myself being with first grade. We find ourselves leaning on each other a lot throughout the school days.  This ranges from helping with discipline to making sure we have a plan for the evening where we can vent and blow off some steam.


Fidgi Simeon turned 22 on October 13, 2012. I treated her to a day of nails, a stroll in the French Quarter, a visit to a man who makes exquisite earrings, and a surprise dinner at one of the best spots in New Orleans. I took this special day to thank Fidgi for always being there when I need someone, I took this special day for the person who understands me more than others, and I took this special day for someone who is now becoming one of my closest and dearest friends.

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