My name is Macey Elser and I am a proud City Year AmeriCorps member serving on the Rockwell Automation team at Milwaukee Public Schools’ Rogers Street Academy on Milwaukee’s South Side (pictured above in a silly post-school-event moment).

As a new City Year AmeriCorps member, one of the first topics I recall discussing was what drove each corps member to serve. The answers varied greatly but almost always included something about the desire to help young people reach their potential and give back to the community.  The Milwaukee corps, similar to the 24 other sites across the country, consists of young people in many stages of their lives including recent high school graduates, recent college graduates, and some who have served before. The corps and individual school teams are vastly diverse, yet tied together by one common underlying cause: to help students. 

Service has always been a large part of my life. I grew up in Indiana going on work projects to different parts of the country every summer throughout middle and high school. My family served in communities different from our own and we did everything from working in food kitchens and construction to running day camps for kids and volunteering to help those with disabilities. These service trips were the highlights of my summers and really the highlights of my year. 

When reflecting on why I serve, I realized that these work projects empowered the young people who participated. They taught us that we could make a difference in our communities and our own lives and also make a difference in the lives of others in communities across the world. The idea of empowering young people through education is a City Year ideal that I want to help propagate. I want children to feel excited about learning and realize that an education will help them reach their potential. I was fortunate to have a great and positive school experience and I want to help create that for other students. 

Here are reasons a few of my teammates share why they serve:

  • Maegan Rivera: "I serve with City Year because I believe in the power of young people. At the end of my service, I hope that they will believe in their own power and potential.”
  • Kim Bravo: “I will ultimately be fighting in a cause greater then myself, which is the current national drop-out crisis, while believing in the power of young people and giving them the opportunities they deserve." 
  • Paola D. Felix-Encarnacion: "I serve because I want youth to empower themselves, to become the leaders this world needs.”

I believe that remembering why we have chosen to serve and committing to empower the students will make for a successful and lasting corps year.    

 Macey Elser serves on the Rockwell Automation team at Rogers Street Academy. Fun fact: she is a triplet and her sister also serves as an AmeriCorps member at City Year Milwaukee.

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