Ten months of service with City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley made me realize just how much young people are capable of, and how powerful an impact can be made when a group of diverse, idealistic thinkers work together. Far from draining my will to fight the uphill battles of social equality, it enriched my desire and tripled my belief in my own ability to change the world.
City Year corps members are united by a remarkable commitment to helping children overcome the educational inequality that plagues the United States. They understand that it doesn’t simply take extra money, or new policies, to change this: it takes human efforts. Yet instead of standing idly by while two children drop out of high school every minute, corps members offer that effort, and for almost no pay.
Why do we do this?
Because it’s unacceptable that our younger brothers and sisters don’t get a fair chance. This, to me, is the true spirit of ubuntu: we suffer because our children suffer.
I believe there are people in every community that embody this spirit, volunteering their time to help others overcome unfair obstacles, especially for children who literally lack the resources to pursue the “American Dream.”
Drawing particularly on the skills and network I acquired during my service in East San Jose, I want to spend one week in one community in every state and Washington, D.C., supporting and inspiring such heroes, as well as telling their story to spread Dr. King’s message that “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.” This tour of service has been aptly named Project Ubuntu.
I have planned out my schedule to run from August 2012 to August 2013, beginning in Maine and finishing in Tennessee. It’s a campaign that will rely on the kindness of others, and I hope to show that when kind hearts come together, as with a City Year corps, there is a synergistic result of goodwill that’s more than the sum of its parts. I’ll support many non-profit organizations throughout the year, but will go to as many City Year sites as possible, as well as engaging alumni wherever I can.
If you want to get involved, please contact me! I’d love to know of “good people” or organizations you think I should partner with, and will hope to connect to such kind folks everywhere.
For more information on the project, visit www.projectubuntu.info and please Like the group at www.facebook.com/projectubuntu and follow @ProjectUbuntu on Twitter to help show support so I can put my City Year in-kinding skills to work!
Daniel Becton, ’10 Alum CYSJ
Recruitment Manager at City Year London