Today City Year Baton Rouge celebrated our Opening Day and the kick-off to our tenth year of service to Baton Rouge with a service extravaganza! While City Year loves to celebrate, today was especially important for many reasons besides our own kick-off: we also salute AmeriCorps on it's 20th Anniversary, and commemorate the victims and heroes of 9/11 with a service project for the National Day of Remembrance and Service. In addition to the service we completed, our corps members were officially sworn into City Year and AmeriCorps with a pledge ceremony. 

On a day like today, City Year and National Service gain many witnesses and champions. Young students became witness to the power of serving others, and they may choose to give a year of service themselves one day. City Year parents became witnesses of our service model, and will hopefully be champions for other young people to join our ranks. Teachers on school campuses became witness to the power of bringing the community into their school. And sponsors, funders, partners, and elected officials became witness to the great impact that their contributions and work are having when they invest resources and time into City Year and National Service like AmeriCorps. 

Thanks to so many champions who made today possible: AmeriCorps, Volunteer Louisiana, East Baton Rouge Parish School System, Melrose Elementary School, Mayor Holden and the City of Baton Rouge, Albertson's, Clegg's Nursery, Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches, Raising Cane's, Star Hill Church, Starbucks Coffee, Whole Foods Market, and Winn Dixie. And special thanks to the volunteers who joined us from the Albemarle Foundation, Capital Area United Way, Capital One Bank, the City of Baton Rouge, Entergy Louisiana, the Junior League of Baton Rouge, Lamar Advertising Company, Star Hill Church, Starbucks Coffee, and of course, the students from Episcopal School and Melrose Elementary. 

Check out our photos from today, and become a witness to the power of service. 

Photo Courtesy of Kia Bickham. Mayor President Kip Holden enjoyed getting to know some of our AmeriCorps members after the Opening Day kick-off ceremony. Janae, Trevor, and Khadijah shared why those chose to give a year to serve students. 

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Eplett Reilly. City Year Impact Manager Eron Jenkins leads a team of corps members and volunteers from Lamar Advertising Company in refurbishing and replanting the Melrose Peace Gardens, for the students at Melrose to nourish and watch grow!

Photo Courtesy of Laura Hamm. City Year co-founder Jennifer Eplett Reilly gets her hands dirty with CYBR Executive Director Laura Hamm. 

The Lamar Advertising Company team broke the record for number of volunteers in one group! They also finished their garden beds in record time. 

Photos Courtesy of Kia Bickham. Volunteers from the Albemarle Foundation, Capitol One Bank, and Star Hill Church work with City Year corps members to scrape, sand, and paint 12 picnic tables at Melrose, where students are often tutored by City Year!

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Dunbar. The entire 2014-2015 City Year Baton Rouge corps sports their AmeriCorps tees at the Louisiana State Capitol after being officially sworn in as AmeriCorps members. 

Want to see more pictures from today? Follow us on Twitter @CityYearBR and on Instagram @cityyearbr. 



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