On Wednesday, October 7, Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited City Year Headquarters and delivered remarks on national service. Senior AmeriCorps members Tram-Anh Nguyen and Sam Duffy-Protentis met with Secretary Panetta, listened to his remarks, and presented him with a City Year jacket. Their top takeaways from his visit were:
Panetta believes passionately in the power of national service and motivated young people. Secretary Panetta cautioned against saying 'that's not my problem' about issues in our society. He said, "The great thing about our democracy is that we have the ability to recognize that it's our problem...and take action through service."
You can have a dream but it won't go anywhere unless you work for it. A thread consistently woven throughout Secretary Panetta's remarks was the importance of hard work in service to lofty ideals. "You must fight to make life worthwhile...belief means nothing if we're not willing to fight for it and make it happen."
Education is key. Tram-Anh Nguyen connected with Secretary Panetta's story of being the child of immigrants that emphasized education as the avenue to achieving your dream. "Education is critical to the ability of young people to succeed in this country," said Panetta.
On behalf of Sam, Tram-Anh, and our entire community, we extend our deepest thanks to Secretary Panetta for inspiring us, educating us, and reinforcing the power of national service.