Written by Colleen Morgan, Senior AmeriCorps Member proudly serving on the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation Team at Kenilworth Science and Technology School. 

City Year Baton Rouge celebrated its Red Jacket Ceremony on Friday September 2, 2016. This wonderful event was filled with laughter and joy as the corps gathered together to re-center themselves and prepare to delve deeper into the year of service ahead. Over the last few months, Baton Rouge has been faced with much adversity. With the historic flooding, the death of Alton Sterling and the death of three police officers as our year of service began, there is no doubt this year of service will be quite different from the last.


As we reflected and celebrated, 93 idealists stood before their peers and explained who and what it is that will motivate them throughout the year. Stephen Spaloss, Ciy Year Regional Vice President, spoke to the corps members and instilled in them new ideas and beautiful stories to help motivate and recharge everyone for the 9 months ahead. He reminded us of the founding story, “It’s In Your Hands” which struck a chord with the recent events in our service city.

Kyle Wedberg, City Year Boston alumnus and co-founder of City Year Louisiana, spoke to the corps as the red jacket ceremony began. AmeriCorps members sat in a strong circle alongside their team and reflected on the recent flooding and Hurricane Katrina that had made land fall just 11 years before in New Orleans. The two events of flooding brought out similar situations and demonstrated the resilience of the state of Louisiana.

This service year in the city of Baton Rouge is in our corps members hands. We have the ability to help guide and shape this year alongside our service partners and schools. There is a lot of work to be done here in Baton Rouge and we are, without a doubt, here and ready to serve. 

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