By Bianca Nelson, first year AmeriCorps member on the Parker-Varney Elementary School team

18 Minute Networking was an event put together by some of the members of the City Year New Hampshire Alumni Board to support CYNH’s Leadership After City Year (LACY) program. This event gave all of the first and second year corps members a chance to talk to people, mostly City Year alumni, who have degrees and experience in various professional fields.  Corps members had their choice for three 18-minute rotations to gain more insight on what they might want to do after City Year. Discussion leaders represented the non-profit sector, law, medicine, environmental science, government, graduate school, and many more. This space was also provided for corps members to ask questions and become more familiar with the resources City Year offers.

I really gained a lot from my three rotations. The first rotation I went to was foreign affairs. Before coming to City Year I was intending on going to college to study international relations, however, I wasn’t sure if this was what I wanted to do. This rotation worked out perfectly for me because Yanick, the City Year alumna (Miami 2013) who shared her experience, works in immigration and that would have been my focus had I attended college this year. Having the time to talk to her was also rewarding because we have similar backgrounds; Yanick is Haitian and so am I. It was nice to meet someone in New Hampshire that is Haitian. I was very happy to make this connection with her and I will hopefully keep in touch. The second rotation I went to was secondary education facilitated by CYNH alumnus, Chris Mancuso (2013, 2014) who teaches in a middle school in Manchester. Teaching has always been in the back of my mind and if given the opportunity I would love to work with older students. Lastly, I went to the STACY (staying at City Year) rotation led by current staff member, Andie Houle, and current AmeriCorps VISTA, Sean Stalling. I was curious to know what a service leader does and if it is something I might be interested in, and I think I might be.

Overall, 18 Minute Networking was a huge success and I absolutely loved it! I received so much information and made new connections. I appreciate the fact that the corps was given this time to explore our options for what might be next and learn more about ourselves.

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