Every month, City Year Washington, DC corps members come together for Learning and Development Days where they receive training relevant to their work in schools, participate in professional development and reflect on their service. During a reflection session at one such conference, we gave our corps members a legal pad and asked them to write about (or sketch about or write poetry about) what their service means to them. In this series, we share some of these honest and revealing reflections with you (with permission, of course!).
This post comes from the notebook of Shamika Terry, a corps member on the CSX Transportation team serving at M.C. Terrell Elementary School.
I didn’t give up a year. I am giving a year to #makebetterhappen.
Every day we #makebetterhappen. We saw something that needed to change. We stood up and answered the call.
I’ve made lifelong friendships because of City Year.
I’ve learned that the kids we work with are smart. They just need the right help to show it.
I’ve learned that I like kids more than I thought.
This city is not dangerous.
My kids’ smiles bring me back each day. They really are my sunshine and nothing can make me give up on my kids.
The way I grew up was one of the reasons why I serve. All my teachers told me I wouldn’t make it. Now I know the best way to get back at someone is to prove them wrong.
My grandma died a few years ago and I always felt that whatever I did never made her proud. Now that I’m helping change the world, she’s not here to see everything. She is looking over me and I can only hope she’s proud of me.