Today's blog is written by Korbyn Mingledorf, reflecting on what she's learned and gained during her two years of service with City Year Jacksonville.
As I come closer to the completion of my second year serving as an AmeriCorps Member with City Year I have realized that I have been exposed to many challenges that have helped me achieve tremendous growth. But what is the value of these skills after our year of service? As my team and I work towards a common goal, to “a cause greater than self” rather than for our own self-interest, we become better mentors, professionals, and leaders.
I always knew I wanted to help people, specifically children, so I was excited when I discovered the opportunity to serve with City Year. The motto, “#makebetterhappen” was so simple and to the point, it inspired me. In finding City Year I had discovered an organization founded upon a cause that I was passionate about, one that would give me direction and purpose while I continued to figure out what was next in my future career. Serving as an AmeriCorps Member with City Year I have gained and strengthened many skills, including my public speaking and presentation skills. I have had many opportunities to make presentations to both my team and the broader organization, and by being open to feedback and I have seen my own growth. I have also strengthened my communication styles and relationship building skills. These are very valuable skills that I know I will be able to easily transfer and apply to my next job.
I have also learned a lot from the leadership conferences that the City Year staff have put on for us to develop our professional skills, including resume writing workshops and mock interview sessions. However, not all learning has taken place in a training or workshop, I have learned even more by having so much responsibility in the classroom. Understanding how to manage both my own time and a group of students is valuable because it has taught me patience, time management, and compassion, which are skills that will be applicable no matter where my future career takes me.
By serving as an AmeriCorps Member with City Year I feel I am both contributing to my community as well as bettering myself. I know that years from now I will still carry these lessons with me into my own profession. Giving two years of service has been one of the best decisions I have made in my life, and I can’t wait to continue to #makebetterhappen in the future.