As we finish the last stretch of our year of service, Jason Mraz’s words echo in my heart: “I won't give up, on us.” This wonderful song about perseverance in the good and bad times is usually attributed to romantic relationships. When I heard this song on a Wednesday morning, it struck me in a different way. This song is exactly what I go through in this demanding job. It requires the mentality of “service to a cause greater than self,” one of the many values City Year strives to uphold.
I don’t know about you, but my journey in this year dedicated to the students of San Antonio has been one of the most grueling and meaningful experiences of my life. I admit there are points where all I want to do is shove the red bomber away. Uniforms are very dull and not exciting. Then, I remember, I don't have to decide what to wear for a cute outfit every morning. I’ll take that if it means an extra half hour of sleep! Oh, and let’s not forget first and final circle. Finding a positive word to break on becomes less and less creative as the days go on. Joy, power, dragons, happy, and positive, just to name a few. Our job can feel like we are hiking in three feet of mud to the destination. Then I wonder, what is the destination? Is it getting our students to pass the STAAR exams (standardized testing for Texas high school freshman)? Or, is it getting that student who can’t seem to fathom why algebra 1 is essential for life to realize its significance? I say, we are here to plant seeds. These seeds may not harvest before our year finishes, and that’s okay! What matters are those small joys that send ripples of hope throughout the City Year San Antonio Corps and the schools we serve. We are here to be that beacon of hope for our students and the surrounding community.
So, I urge all you City Year out there, don’t give up hope! If that student gives up, don’t you give up now. Like Jason Mraz, you were sent on a mission, and we are here to complete the task at hand, which means: I won’t give up. We have to push our students to realize their potentials. If we don’t, then, who will? The crazy thing is that through this job, I have realized my potential even more than ever before. If someone would have told me about fixed mindsets when I was in high school, oh, where would I be now? Let’s not wallow in our regrets. Let’s live in the moment. All we have is today. Not yesterday, and not tomorrow. I read somewhere, our lives change when our habits change. Be the change. City Year San Antonio, let’s continue to #makebetterhappen.
Together in Service,
Written by: Marianne Medina, AmeriCorps Member at Roosevelt High School