Name: Raina Hall
Served: City Year Boston 2011 (on the Comcast Team at the Jeremiah E. Burke High School) and 2012 (on the Bain Capital Project Leader Team in CYB’s Training Department)
Current Occupation: Learning and Development Analyst at Public Consulting Group (PCG)
Fun fact: I have been to 39 States! It’s my goal to visit all 50; just 11 more to go! The two states I want to visit most are Alaska (preferably during the summer time) and Montana (preferably Western Montana where the Rocky Mountains are).
City Year Boston (CYB): What first attracted you to City Year?
Raina Hall (RH): It’s actually ‘Who’ first attracted me to City Year: Leila Bailey-Stewart. She served with City Year as an AmeriCorps member and now works as the Acting Vice President of Recruitment and Admissions for City Year, Inc. While I was visiting New York City back in 2010, I met Leila at a career fair and then later at the City Year New York office for an open house. After hearing about her experience, I felt so inspired by the work City Year did and the change it made in young people – both students and young adults. I could tell that City Year was a valuable program that allowed its volunteers to work with communities while also teaching its volunteers about leadership, education, and social justice issues. I had been invested in community service throughout high school and college and wanted to be fully engulfed in service program. Leila showed me that City Year was the perfect place to serve!
CYB: What is your proudest moment from your service year?
RH: There are many moments during my service year that I could think of. One in particular jumps out to me now. One of my 9th graders would always get frustrated in math class to the point that he would call himself stupid and then shut down. It was heartbreaking to see a young person get so down on himself. I worked with him regularly on developing not only his math skills but also his confidence and how he approached school work. It was important to learn that school can be challenging, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that a person is stupid. I remember a moment, after weeks of working with him, he ran up to me after math class. He had a quiz in his hands and huge smile on his face. He got an A! Moments like that one made my service year unforgettable. Moments like that continue years after I served. I was able to attend my students’ graduation 3 years later in May 2014. It was unbelievable being able to see my students walk across the stage to get their diplomas. What made it even more special was seeing that the Valedictorian was one of my students!! I know my students worked hard to graduate, and it was an honor to have been a part of the community that supported them on their journey.
CYB: Describe your transition from City Year to your current career. How did City Year prepare you for this position?
RH: After serving for City Year Boston for two years, I worked for its Learning and Development Department for three years. Gaining the experience in the L&D Department at City Year prepared me immensely for my career in this field. Over the course of my time at CYB, I planned and led numerous training conferences for a cumulative 900+ corps members. Taking the skills and experience I gained from CYB, I was able to transition into a L&D role at a consulting firm. I am now the Learning and Development Analyst at Public Consulting Group (PCG). I plan training conferences for our new hires and consultants while also running a Learning Management System that supports learning for over 1600 PCG employees.
CYB: What do you love most about your job?
RH: I love the opportunity to help our employees grow and excel professionally whether it’s through planning in-person trainings, sharing a great resource, or finding the right online training. I’m driven by my own passion to continue learning, so I hope to inspire others to do the same.
CYB: From your perspective as a corps member, CY staff person, and now external alum, why do the alumni community’s involvement and voice matter to today’s corps and City Year as an organization?
RH: What comes to mind for me is the CY Founding Story, Shoulders of Giants. The alumni and CY staff have been there; we have helped build the City Year program to what it is today and have experienced the service. We know what it’s like! Not only are alumni able to share perspective on what it’s like to be a corps member but also what it’s like to transition out of a service year. We are able to share advice and connect current corps members to future opportunities.