Dear Future AmeriCorps member,
Hope you're doing well and having a good week thus far. My name is Christian Love and I am a City Year Seattle alumnus, ’14. I'm from Detroit (born and bred) and am a recent graduate from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I studied psychology with a minor in Afroamerican and African Studies and have been a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. since April of 2010. My service year in Seattle was my first time on the West Coast and I truly enjoyed my time and the network I have been able to built in just ten short months!
You’re probably wondering why I’m writing to you. I guess, first and foremost, I wanted to say thanks for your willingness and interest to join the City Year team next year. City Year allowed me to enhance my passion for leadership development, community empowerment, and mentorship for at-risk youth. Serving as an AmeriCorps member allowed me to build very strong relationships with all of my students and to work on a diverse, engaged team with a very supportive leadership team.
Even though AmeriCorps members serve some really long days,the students make this experience really worth it! Having the opportunity to connect with and greet students in the morning is probably one of the better part of my days. Seeing their smiling faces, giving them high-fives, and getting a simple, "Hey, Mr. Chris!" frames my entire day and helps me fully understand what it means to advocate for and serve young people. Some students face some very rough challenges at home, so having champions at school who care about their well-being and safety means the world to a lot of our students.
The thing I appreciate about City Year is that we are not teachers. Instead, we partner WITH teachers to provide more in-class support for students. My partner teacher has been teaching for almost 11 years now and serving along her side was a privilege and honor. Her leadership and communication style, behavior management protocol and emphasis on building the entire student allowed me to understand what it takes to be a phenomenal teacher. She made my service so much easier and she is definitely someone I am proud to call my mentor.
I guarantee the skills and confidence you gain from this year will benefit your career trajectory and interests long term. Even if you do not consider education or nonprofit work after City Year, you will gain valuable experience that will benefit you in a plethora of fields (i.e. marketing, recruitment, community outreach, law, medicine, journalism, etc.). For me, City Year affirmed my desire to stay in the education sector. I'm pursuing my Masters of Education degree in Leadership in Higher Education at the University of Washington, Seattle.
I am more than willing to answer any and all of your questions! I want to help you make the most informed decision that will be the best fit for you; if that means not joining City Year, that is totally understandable. I’m sure you’re at different points in your decision-making process, so thank you for considering serving with City Year.
Thanks for your time,