As City Year Tulsa prepares for our annual Opening Day celebration, an event that puts the focus on City Year AmeriCorps members and their year of service, we reflect on the reasons that we serve. For City Year Tulsa AmeriCorps member Chelsy Hopkins, the purpose behind her service brings to light many of the struggles that Tulsa students face. In the following post, Chelsy shares her 'Why I Serve' statement and the impact that she hopes to make in the lives of her students. 

I serve because growing up I lost classmates to drugs, being killed or jail. It goes in a cycle, you hear that a student has dropped out because they weren’t getting the help that they needed, seven days later you hear that the student has been shot and killed because they were in the wrong place, at the wrong time. 

Chelsy Hopkins

I serve because as a young lady that just graduated from high school, I know how hard it is to focus on school work and behaving the correct way. I serve because as a student in this community, you have to focus on how you are going to get home without being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

I serve because I have been doubted by my family, friends and some teachers for all of my life. I've been told that I will never will never "make it" because of the people that I hang around or the way I live my life.

I serve because I know that the younger generation can pay it forward to the next generation. I know that if I can get my message to at least one of my students, that my message will be forever repeated.

I serve because I want to see my students work in their success because they know that they are our success.

Chelsy Hopkins proudly serves on the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation Team at Kendall Whittier Elementary School. 

We invite you to join us for Opening Day on Friday, September 25 at 10 a.m. at TCC's Center for Creativity. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/ODTulsa2015

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