Written by Colleen Morgan, AmeriCorps Member serving on the Albemarle Foundation Team at Merrydale Elementary School.

Service is described as the action of helping, or doing work for someone. In City Year, you dedicate 10 months to serving the community that invites you in with open arms. Around every corner of your City Year experience is the word service. It pops up every day and in everything you do. From your timesheets filled out with blocks labeled service to the way you introduce yourself to the countless people you interact with daily. You are described as an AmeriCorps member proudly SERVING with City Year Baton Rouge. What’s most interesting about this word with such a distinct and direct definition is that it has no limit.

These last few months in Baton Rouge have helped me to see service is not something you do, but instead a way you live, and there is no limit to that life, but instead endless opportunity.

City Year provides so many eye-opening experiences that help people see new ways to serve. In Baton Rouge, we team up alongside so many different organizations inside of our community. As AmeriCorps members, we are exposed to so many people and places in and around this beautiful city. As we approach the winter break that splits this year of service in half, I wanted to break down the opportunities in a series of numbers.

Before winter break there will have been over 100 opportunities for corps members to serve outside of the classroom in the community. These events have ranged from basketball clinics, to working special events downtown, tutoring student outside of the classroom, and anything one could imagine in between. City Year Baton Rouge will have teamed up with over 25 organizations here in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Such as BREC, Sports Academy, the Red Stick Project, Youth Oasis and so many more. There will have been over 80 days of school completed in EBR, which is about 600 hours of classroom time. Each AmeriCorps member has served alongside the faculty and staff at the seven schools through instruction, intervention and basketball games at recess.

Each AmeriCorps member has been able to build their year in different ways and everyone has had a unique half-year of service thus far.  While the year 2015 is coming to a close, the year 2016 is sure to bring many more surprises and opportunities. And as this month of thanksgiving comes to a close, we are all reminded of our service, and how we have been giving the opportunity to make a difference in everything we do. We are truly making better happen in any and every way possible in the beautiful city of Baton Rouge.  

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