Written by Derrek Studebaker, AmeriCorps member on the New Schools for Baton Rouge Team at Claiborne Elementary School. 

Serving with City Year can be extremely taxing mentally, emotionally, and physically. What keeps us pushing forward is often the core reason we chose to apply to City Year in the first place. To stay strong and continue to be the best corps members we can be, we must remember the passion that we all have for what we do. It takes motivation coming from deep inside ourselves, to wake up early, stay late at school, and do community service outside of normal school hours. As we look inward and find our love for service, the days no longer seem to be a burden, but a pleasure. Being able to answer why we are here is crucial to our ongoing service.

I serve to provide compassion. I serve because I believe that education paves the way forward in life, and with love as the foundation, we will be more effective educators and achieve excellence. While I am not a seasoned professional at teaching, I have the ability to provide love for my students, which is important because love is one of the most basic needs of human beings. I see the effect of increased compassion when I walk into the classroom and nearly get tackled to the ground with hugs every day. Having this relationship with my students allows me to reach them in a unique way.

With all the fun and hard work we do comes the desire to share what we do. Because of that desire to share, I decided to join the CYBR Communications Team. Our role is to tweet and post on Instagram about what we are doing at City Year Baton Rouge and what my team at Claiborne Elementary is doing. I may be posting about what I did this last weekend for service, or sharing about how I attempt to dance even though I have no rhythm. Whatever we are doing, it will be shared to spread the love of serving in an elementary school and in Baton Rouge. I am also excited for the chance to participate in the first #askCY event of the year! If you have questions, or just want to see answers to questions other people have, check out #askCY on Twitter this Thursday, September 17 to have a corps member answer your questions.

No matter what you do in life, finding the corps (pun intended) reason that you do something will be the most crucial aspect to maintaining perspective. Without intrinsic motivation, people will continually feel lost through their journeys of life.

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