Rockin’ the Red Cape


by Sarah Levant, corps member serving at Spingarn High School

September 16th 2011, I rolled out of bed, threw on my City Year uniform, and ran out the door. Annoyed that my 15 minute commute turned into 50, I arrived at our Red Jacket Ceremony, where we receive our jackets for the first time, blurry-eyed and hungry.

As my morning transitioned to afternoon, I became less resentful.  By the end I was embraced by my City Year teammates, Jay and Jacque.

When it came time to dedicate my red jacket to the entire City Year corps, I was ready and excited. My team linked arms on stage like a family, waiting for each team member to dedicate their jacket and year of service to someone who has inspired them to serve.

As I walked back to my apartment I passed a high school. Every day I walk by the same group of students, but today I had my red jacket. As I walked past a student yelled, “City Year rocks!”

I felt like wonder-woman cruising in the sky. That night I paraded around in my pj’s while wearing my red jacket. I refused to take such a symbol off my shoulders as I brushed my teeth and washed my face. Only right before crawling into bed, did I hang up my jacket, knowing it would be safe until my next day of duty as a City Year corps member.

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