Opening Day: Why I Serve Statements

Friday was City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley’s Annual Opening Day Ceremony. 74 corps members took the City Year and AmeriCorps pledge and went off to serve in their yellow jackets. Representatives from each of our seven school teams shared their “Why I Serve” statements and inspired the community with their words. 


Representatives from each of our partner schools shared their Why I Serve statements.

My name is Karina Kinaman, I am 22 years old from Leesburg, Virginia, and I proudly serve on the NVIDIA team at Anthony J. Dorsa Elementary School.  I serve because, for me, nothing is more rewarding than witnessing the positive influence I am having on someone’s life. Through the cheerful smiles from my students and the warmth and support from my team, I am reassured each day that I am making a difference beyond myself. I serve to show my students that whatever they can believe, they can achieve, and that by doing so, they can inspire others to do the same.

I’m Jaynik Bhukhan, age 22, from Modesto California, proudly serving on the San Francisco 49ers Foundation Clyde L. Fischer Middle School Team. Growing up, I saw my high school focus on expelling students or putting them in handcuffs, rather than getting them to college. I serve because I want to do the work that aims to instead empower young people. I serve my students to hear their voices, and harness the power of youth to guide them on the path to success.

My name is Shannon Kow, I’m 21 years old, from Walnut, California, and I proudly serve on the City Year team at Horace Cureton Elementary School. I serve because one before me served me first. To honor the pure grace that made my education possible, next generation of students on their own challenging paths in education.  I serve so that those after me may go further than me.

My name is Daniel Montes, I am 22 years old from San Diego, CA and I proudly serve on the City Year team at Clyde Arbuckle Elementary. I serve because all students have the potential to reach their stars and a higher education. I believe every student truly deserve the chance to prove themselves.Through my service, I want provide students the tools and resources that empower them to feel proud of their knowledge.

My name is Syeda Ali, I am 23 years old from Newington CT and I proudly serve on the Applied Materials team at Lee Mathson Middle School. I serve for my friend, Jennifer Horn, served in New York City, she passed away last April, and we both believe that it is every human’s right to get a good education, and no child should be deprived of that right.

My name is Kristina Cripe, I am 22 years old from Winona Lake, Indiana and I proudly serve on the City Year team at Aptitud Community Academy at Goss Elementary School. The other day a student turned to me and said “I’m not smart.”  I serve to provide the support and encouragement to show all students that they are smart and they can succeed.

My name is Dave Alvarez, I am 22 years old, from San Jose, CA and I proudly serve on the Cisco team at Cesar Chavez Elementary School. I serve because I feel it is my duty to do so–it is my duty to my family, my community and myself. In this year it is my responsibility to give back to the community that supported me as a child and to provide others with the same opportunities and attention I was fortunate enough to receive.



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