written by Isabel Huston, City Year Washington, DC 2010-2011 Alum and Team Leader serving on the Case Foundation Team at Simon Elementary School
Adrienne Shea is an alumnus of the 2008-2009 City Year Washington, DC corps. She came to City Year after graduating from Wesleyan University where she captained the Field Hockey and Women’s Ice Hockey teams and majored in Government.
Adrienne is now a third year student at the Villanova University School of Law where she is a part of the Pro Bono Society. After graduating, Adrienne hopes to become a public defender. Read on to see what Adrienne has to say about her time as a City Year Washinton, DC corps member, and how her service experience continues to influence her Life After City Year:
What influenced your decision to serve as a City Year Corps Member?
I’ve been involved in community service in different capacities from a very young age – from volunteering with my church to serving on the Community Service Board in high school. After college, I knew that I wanted to do something short-term before going to law school, so I looked into several different service programs. City Year seemed like a great fit. I knew I wanted to serve in a team-based environment, and I knew I wanted to work with kids. Also, I won’t lie; I was kind of into the Tims.
What was your position as a corps member (what team did you serve on)?
I served on a Whole School Whole Child team at Francis Stevens Educational Campus. I worked in a 1st grade classroom.
What were some of your favorite parts of your corps year?
I was extremely close with my team, and some of my favorite memories include time spent with them – even just time spent in the City Year office, preparing lesson plans and school-wide events.
We had a service day at our school in November with the whole corps and a large group of outside volunteers, and we spent hours prepping the school and planning the work that we wanted to get done. The transformation of the school was one of my favorite things – we painted tons of new murals, and cleaned out a gym that had been used for storage to make it usable for all of the students. That was definitely one of my favorite memories as well.
I also had a group of 4 students that I worked with throughout the year to improve their literacy. Those sessions were definitely one of the best parts of my corps year. I watched the students improve their reading skills, and I watched them change behaviorally – they were all so supportive and respectful in our small group.
What was your favorite place to do Physical Training (PT)?
My favorite place to do PT is the U St. Memorial. At the beginning of my corps year, the City Year main office was at 9th and U St. That’s where we had Basic Training Academy and all of our initial training. I always loved going back there to revisit the old office!
How do you think your City Year experience has impacted your life after service?
City Year cemented my desire to work in public service as a career. The sense of accomplishment and purpose that I derived from my service made all of the work worthwhile, and I know that I want to feel that from every job that I have.
What five words would you use to describe law school?
Five word phrase: a means to an end!
Law school is challenging, and far more time-consuming than undergraduate studies (at least from my experience). I have met wonderful people, and I actually really enjoy my classes (until finals), but it certainly lacks many of the social benefits of undergraduate college.
Are you involved in service as a law student? What other student organizations are you a part of?
I’ve remained very involved in service as a law student. I’m a member of the Pro Bono Society. Through Pro Bono Society I’ve taken part in programs such as Street Law, which is a “know your rights” type of program for high school students; and I’ve also done client intake at a legal clinic for low-income people in Philadelphia. I’m also on the Board of Directors for the Public Interest Fellowship Program, which raises money to fund fellowships for law students working at unpaid public service internships during the summer.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I want to be involved with public service in the legal sector, ideally as a Public Defender. I think being a lawyer gives you an amazing opportunity to give back, because you have a unique skill set that enables you to provide people with a necessary service.
*Are you a City Year alum looking to reconnect with old teammates or network with fellow alums, or a Corps Member looking for LACY opportunities or to increase your professional network? Check out the City Year Alumni Website here!! And come to City Year DC’s Parents and Family Weekend and Martin Luther King Day of Service January 14, 15, and 16. Click here to Register
**Do you know a City Year alum who you think should be featured here? Email Izzy Huston at firstname.lastname@example.org