Written by Janae Babineaux, City Year Alumna

As I write this blog, my second year as a City Year AmeriCorps member is coming to a close. I have spent the last 24 months investing time and love into a beautiful community. I have experienced success and loss that had the transformative power to change me forever. Somewhere between the long hours of service, the team builders, and the focus lists- I found myself. I discovered the healing power of service and the incredible power of young people.

I remember browsing the City Year website as I was going through the application process more than two years ago and coming across the value, “Belief in the Power of Young People.” I immediately thought, “Yes! I love that.” I thought of students and the unlocking of potential. I thought of projects and love and learning.

But now after having served alongside over 150 corps members, serving on two dynamic teams, and having the opportunity to lead one of those teams, I now see that value with much more depth. Yes, as AmeriCorps members we strive to always believe in our students and to invest in them in them but, we as AmeriCorps members also learn how to invest in each other. I have been changed by my teammates and the incredible knowledge, insight, and power of my peers. I have learned that we- the young people- are the leaders of tomorrow, we are the change agents, we are the idealists.

Janae served on the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation Team at Winbourne Elementary School. Next year, Janae will join Baton Rouge Bridge Academy as a kindergarten teacher. 

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