ImageName: Audrey Simpson

Age: 21

School: Sacramento State

School Site: Oak Ridge Elementary

Team Sponsor: Social Venture Partners

What made you apply to City Year?

I was planning to apply to the Peace Corps before I heard any mention of City Year. My cousin, Nancy Adjei, is currently serving in the Peace Corps in Thailand. I told her that I was really interested in joining, but I’ve been hesitant to make the commitment. She served with City Year in San Jose before joining the Peace Corps, so she said City Year would prepare me for service abroad. I knew that I wanted to do some sort of service work to enhance my character.

What are two or three things you learned from your experience at Sacramento State or City Year that will benefit your career progression?

My time at Sac State has taught me how to work hard under pressure. I’ve learned how to meet deadlines and how to prioritize my work. I’ve also learned how to enhance my critical thinking skills. Working with diverse groups of people has helped me to understand how to interact with people in different settings. Even though I’ve just started my service with City Year, I have developed a tremendous amount of patience. The kids are extremely energetic and they all require time and persistent role models. 

What was your major at Sacramento State?

I majored in International Relations, which is a concentration offered through the government department. I also have a minor in Peace & Conflict Resolution Studies. 

Were you involved in volunteer activities or student groups during your time at Sacramento State?  How did these experiences prepare you for City Year?

I was a tad bit shy when I enrolled at Sac State…It wasn’t until about my junior and senior years that I really became active on campus. My two most rewarding experiences in school were my position as treasurer for Peace and Conflict International, and as a delegate for Model United Nations. I also planned events for Peace and Conflict International, which catered to the club members’ interests in international affairs and service projects. Event planning prepared me for City Year by making me comfortable with accountability and deadlines.  I was also on the Sacramento State Model UN team for 3 semesters. The team participates in annual conferences in Chicago and New York. I was able to develop some leadership skills by participating in Model UN. The conferences require certain people to step up and lead groups to consensus. 

What are your plans following City Year?

The first step is the Peace Corps. I’m also interested in getting a Fulbright scholarship, which will provide me with more opportunities to learn abroad. After that, I’ll apply for a fellowship with the Acumen Fund. This program will give me a chance to gain professional experience in the field of international development while also gaining on the ground experience. I plan to go to graduate school at Columbia University, and would really love to get into the university’s development program.

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