Written by Suzie Nahach, proud AmeriCorps member serving at Baton Rouge Bridge Academy.
For many AmeriCorps members, the New Year marks the second half of their year-long service. After a two week break, AmeriCorps members convened at the Annual Mid-Year Summit to reconnect and realign with City Year values. AmeriCorps members also took some time to reflect on the first half of their service year while looking ahead to the second half.
The day’s theme was “Building a Better Future.” To coincide with this, everyone received a plastic construction helmet with their name on it. The day’s activities focused on helping us as AmeriCorps members look at the first half of our service year with the intention of growing stronger in our organizational and personal goals.
We started the day off with a self- reflection activity in which we wrote a letter to ourselves which will then be read at graduation in May. In my letter, I talked about challenges I faced in the first half of the year and what I hope to learn about myself throughout the rest of the year.
We then spent time focusing on a social justice topic (my group was focused on global citizenship) and reflecting on the content of the City Year pledge.
After lunch, Stephen Spaloss, Senior Vice President of Team Leadership spoke about his time at City Year. He talked about ways that we could go through the rest of our year and discussed the impact that he has seen City Year have. The main thing I remember from the presentation was that he told us we could go through our service year in one of three ways: as a prisoner, a vacationer, or an explorer.
To end the day, we had the first activities of Battle of the Boot, a competition between AmeriCorps members. We had the opportunity to work with and talk with those we do not see very often as we serve on different school teams.
Overall, our Mid-Year Summit was an engaging and encouraging way to begin the second half of my service year. Moving forward, I feel motivated to interact with City Year’s values and mission, building on the first half of the year.