By Ana Medina

As the first two months of service come to a close for the DCPNI City Year team serving at Cesar Chavez Parkside Middle School, our corps members have been taking some time to reflect on our experiences at the school so far and to share what being a City Year at a first-year partnership school has meant for our group. Very much like our team, our experiences have been a rainbow of diversity that come together to form the beautiful mosaic that is the Chavez Middle City Year team.

Kelly Suter
22 years old
Yardley, Pennsylvania
It has been such a great experience to start this new partnership with Cesar Chavez!  We quickly realized how excited everyone was to have us at the school.  Every morning the culture team, administrators and teachers greet us with huge smiles, and if anyone on the team misses a day, it is very common to hear "CITY YEAR WE MISSED YOU!"  Their support for what we do definitely motivates me to do the work that I do for my students.  

Montrell Waters
20 years old
Lansing, Michigan
My name is Montrell Waters, I am currently serving at Cesar Chavez Parkside Middle and it has been amazing! I must admit I was super nervous at first to serve at Chavez as a new partnership, and was afraid the teachers and students would ignore us all, but they really enjoy us! I love how friendly (and sometimes weird!) our students and teachers are. I love my school!

Alicia Hill
22 years old
Washington, DC.
My year so far has been amazing. The scholars are the best part of waking up in the morning they keep me going and enthused. #makebetterhappen

Devin Halligan
22 years old
Manchester, Vermont
Up to this point, City Year has been one of the most challenging, frustrating, yet incredibly rewarding experiences of my life. I have never felt so motivated to change the lives of others until this program and every day I feel inspired to push those boundaries even more when I see my students’ faces. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I could make it the entire year but yesterday I had two students approach me during power greeting and tell me that they missed me last week when I was gone. Seeing that even in some small way I made a connection to my students made me smile and realize that this year is going to be one I will surely never forget.

Quinten Carter
22 years old
Cambria Heights, New York
This year at Cesar Chavez has warm and inviting written all over the school. My team is wildly diverse and I feel that this has been a great advantage to our school and students in all aspects of the Chavez social and academic life!

Dwight Weingarten
22 years old
Baltimore, Maryland
The first quarter of school is coming to a close. It seems like an eternity since me and my City Year teammates were helping the teachers to post bulletin boards and get ready for the school year. Now I am almost three months into my term of service. The days present their challenges, but I am grateful for the small daily victories such as a successful lunch club or a fun afterschool program. I am eager for the months of service ahead. 

Ana Medina
23 years old
Orlando, Florida
As I began my training at City Year’s Basic Training Academy, I remember my main concern centered on deciding the one lesson that I would impart upon my students during the year I would serve as their City Year. Three months later and two active months of service behind me, I have learned the City Year secret: it is so easy to get lost in deciphering what you want to teach your students that it will surprise you to learn that the true beauty of the experience lies in what your students can and will teach you.

Brianna McIntosh
22 years old
Dallas, Texas
Since the first day of SLA, I have worn a smile across my face bigger than Texas. There is something about the soothing chaos of working with children that inspires me to work even harder. I love the work that City Year does. If I could piece together the perfect job, 90% of it would encompass what I do as a Corps Member. One day a student told me that they “can’t tell if I’m ever upset because I am always smiling” and it made me sit and think. I have a job I love so much, that nothing can take that away from me, and it’s such a good feeling. I love City Year.

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