Relationships are at the core of everything we at City Year do. Whether we spend 10 hours together or 10 minutes, our fellow teammates and corps members are the life force of our social and work lives. We find ourselves eager to learn more about these people, and never fail to be awed, inspired, and proud of each person in the corps because of these exchanges. For every human interaction we have, we are slightly different individuals because of it. In a job where we have to make ourselves extremely vulnerable to be effective, we find that it is these corps members who have shaped us and our experience during our corps year, forever changing our perspective. For these reasons, I believe the relationships built within City Year are arguably the strongest relationships built in our young lives thus far.
City Year thrives off of the relationships corps members build with each other, our service partners, schools, teachers and communities. A year of service is, at times, positively grueling. But the silver lining is that you are not going through it alone at any time. In San Jose, I have at least 67 other people who are going through it in my corps year, 8 additional people who have gone through it before in our senior corps, and 14 more people who see corps members go through it year after year in staff members. Across the City Year network, thousands of young idealists are getting similar experiences. That doesn’t include the principals who eagerly put us to work in their schools, the teachers who welcome us into their classrooms, the students who let us into their lives or the service partners and individuals who give to us because they see the value in our work time and time again. They care about us as individuals, and though our service begins and ends with the goal of increasing the chances of success for the students we serve, the relationships we build are arguably what help us provide such a high quality of service from start to finish.