Putting Idealism to Work (PITW) is a collection of ideas written and edited by City Year CEO and Co-Founder Michael Brown, but contributed to by many people. It contains 182 pieces of collective City Year wisdom that guide our service and serve as a reference for ways to implement our mission in our daily work. Our site gives out PITW awards to people who embody these ideals.
PITW # 98 All people-especially young people-need the same eight things.
I am always impressed by Luke’s ability to connect with so many different students. He makes it look effortless. This year he has worked to make sure his students are having fun while learning, and I will venture to say that he is a big reason why some of Chavez’s toughest students come to school in the morning. Recently Luke went above and beyond to organize and facilitate a soccer tournament that included Chavez, Goss, Mathson and Ace. In doing so he built a sense of community and gave students an opportunity that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. I appreciate his dedication to his students, and I’m so grateful for his service.
PITW # 32 Inject creativity into everything.
“A little creativity goes a long, long …. l o o o o n g way!” I would like to award PITW # 32 to Natalie. Throughout her year at Cureton she has injected creativity into every aspect of her service. Looking at her behavior groups specifically she stuck to the theme of heroes and villains and created many opportunities throughout the year for her three groups to be both engaging and safe. She created lessons that allowed her young leaders to discover their leadership style, gave them the opportunity to praise their peers with Spiderman themed praise notes, and gave them the chance to create their own superhero. Thank you for your creativity, patience and persistence all year long!
PITW #172 Read at least one newspaper a day.
This PITW states that “in order to be an active and concerned citizen, you should keep yourself informed of events happening in your local community, your state, nation, world, and sometimes even outer space.” I would argue that no one does this better than Lowell. He is one of the most well-informed people I know, and I’m always grateful for the insight and depth he brings to every conversation.
PITW #78 Your commitment brings about the commitment of others.
CJ is extremely committed to our students and our team. Her sense of duty to the ten of us is overwhelming. Whenever you hear her talk about Badonka Dorsa or a new initiative that will positively affect our students, you’ll be blown away. She makes it hard to even see failure as an option and it’s this commitment that keeps all of us motivated to put in 100% every day.
PITW #173 I’m ready, choose me!
Steve is usually the first person to volunteer to help out with miscellaneous tasks each day. Anytime he is asked to do something, he responds with an unwavering, “Of course!” Having someone on the team that can always be trusted to get something done is a true asset to all.
PITW #4 Develop a core theory for what you are doing, and narrate it through every aspect of your task.
Why? The impact project leaders focused on student achievement in attendance, behavior and coursework have developed a “core theory” of putting student achievement first. In every resource they develop, training they deliver, or message they communicate, the same guiding question is at the heart: “How will this impact our students?” They have leveraged each other as resources to collaboratively rebuild many of the aspects of our ABC initiatives and to build the capacity of the site and corps to change the lives of the students in Alum Rock.