By: Meredith Moore
Everyone said my time with City Year would go by quickly. Initially, I didn’t believe it. I moved to Denver two days after Christmas to find a place to live and start my service as a Mid-Year Corps Member. Luckily, the transition was easy because I found an apartment within three days and had an awesome team. I had little time to adjust since everything happened so quickly, and it has been a whirlwind of an experience that has made me become a better version of myself.
I have been put in many new situations and met new people with differing ideas. I have learned the importance of teamwork and what it actually means. It is amazing how everyone is able to rely on each other and work together to accomplish a common goal. My team provides me with a support system like I have never experienced before. This work is extremely unique with its many rewards and challenges, so I cannot imagine what I would do without the wonderful support of my team.
Working with sixth graders has been one of the hardest yet satisfying things I have ever done. Sometimes my students drive me crazy when they do not do their work or behave how they know they should. However, their success and pride in their work gives my efforts more meaning than I ever dreamed of. It is impossible to understand unless you have experienced it. In the short time I have been working with my students, I have developed relationships with my students that have changed me forever.
I cannot imagine what it will be like next year since I will not interact with my students for ten hours every day. I find myself thinking about my students and wondering what the future holds for each of them. Although it is difficult, I’ve discussed with my students that I will not be here next year, which is a tough realization for both the student and me. I will not be able to greet the shy student every morning when he enters the building, or give a pencil to the student who never brings one, or read books about horses with my starfish student. I hope that I have left my students with the tools they need to continue being successful in the classroom but more importantly in life.
Will I ever know that I made a difference in my students’ lives like they have in mine? Probably not. However, I am satisfied in my work by knowing that I have given my students everything I could. I can take pride in knowing that I have been a successful tutor by improving my students’ classroom performance, a mentor who is always willing to listen, and a friend who is always happy to play Capture the Flag. The time has come for a new chapter in my life, but my time with City Year will stay with me forever.