Staying connected to service

Civic Engagement Team member Dan Blahnik tutors a student at one of our school partner sites. It is important to stay connected to in school service as an office based corps member.

When I was hired as the Recruitment Project Leader for City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley, I was totally thrilled. I would finally be able to dedicate more of my time to engage in social media, reach out to young people who are ready to serve and also represent City Year at different events around Silicon Valley.

What I didn’t really consider at first was how difficult it was going to be to not be around the kids I worked so closely with everyday. I was concerned about not feeling connected to the service we were providing and being able to internalize that while I’m not working directly with children on a consistent basis anymore, I am still providing valuable service.

Here are some ways that I have been able to stay connected to our service.

  1. Volunteer at schools. School based teams can always use help; sometimes they just forget you can be used as a resource. Stay in contact with the TL’s and PM’s and let them know that you can be available if they need you. A good suggestion is to take one afternoon a week and make that your day to be out at a school. It will help you feel connected to service and it will show corps members that you are invested in what they are doing.
  2. Be a mentor. Let corps members know that if they have questions about service, you are someone they can approach. Odds are you have plenty of wisdom that you can share with the new corps; and there’s no use in reinventing the wheel when you already have great lesson plans for an enrichment or successful behavior management tips to share.
  3. Take the time to ask questions. Every corps member has a starfish story to share, so ask them to share it with you! Hearing about the great things the corps is doing will inspire and motivate you and remind you why we are all here in the first place… to change the lives of children.

Megan Baker, Recruitment Project Leader CYSJ


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