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“Charlie Time” with CYNOLA

April 28, 2014

Charlie Rose visited CYNOLA and left with a gift basket of New Orleans goodies given to him by the Dean’s Council

The CY NOLA Corps was told that we would still be in service during our network’s Spring Break. Prior to the week, the description of what we would be doing when all the students were out was a little ambiguous. We were put to work a good bit that week, but for the most part, it was pretty low key.

Perhaps one of the most inspiring days that I have experienced in my ten months was during that week, when Senior Vice President and Dean of City Year, Charlie Rose, spent the day with us.

The schedule for that day was especially vague, considering that between the hours of 9:30-12:30 and 1:30-4 were labeled as “Charlie Time.” My original thought was: “What could the VP of City Year want to talk to us about for almost six hours?”

To my surprise, the day consisted of about 10% Charlie, 90% us.

Charlie shared his life’s work with us, telling us all about his New York roots and his eventual move to Boston to help found City Year worldwide. We spent time getting to know things about each other that we may have never learned in our months in City Year. We reflected on our successes and failures.  

We shared what we learned about our schools, our students and ourselves.

The most enlightening exercise of the day involved the corps sitting in a circle facing outward. Charlie would choose four anonymous corps members to come to the center of the circle. Charlie would assign the four to tap people on the shoulder for different reasons, such as someone who has inspired them, made them laugh, or taught them something about themselves.

It established a new-found respect and humanity with my City Year peers, and everyone agreed afterward that they felt rejuvenated.

Charlie travels to City Year sites all over the country for the simple purpose of allowing the corps to reflect, to take in the past 10 months and to remind us that we aren’t insignificant.


For that, City Year New Orleans is infinitely grateful.



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