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10 things incoming AmeriCorps members should know!

  1. This will be hard: There will be many long and challenging days ahead of you, I can promise you from experience! Which is why it is extremely important to understand your “why”. Understanding why you are here will keep you happy, motivated, and inspired every day to continue this difficult, yet rewarding, work we do!
  2. Your team will become your family: Although you are joining a corps of ~100 members who will all be going through the same challenging experience as you; your team will be the ones by your side day in and day out for the next 10 months. Whether you like it or not, spending 10 hours per day, 5 days a week with the same 7 people builds a bond you only experience with family!
  3. Culture, culture, culture!: If Louisiana loves anything, it’s culture and tradition. From jazz music to gumbo, Louisiana has a culture like no other. Take time to attend the festivals, and try all of those strange yet delicious Cajun foods, Lasseiz Les Bon Temps Rouler!
  4. You WILL grow: You are about to embark on a year-long journey that will grow you in areas professionally, socially, and personally among many other things. Allow change to happen and take opportunities when they arise!
  5. You’ll learn more from your students than they will from you: Education is a field that requires you to wear many faces for the students you serve. In the process of serving these students, you will learn to be so many more things than just an educator. Also, our students may be children in age but they are honest and wise in ways you may not expect and teach you things over time you never expected to learn from this experience.
  6. Your experience is 100% what you make it: City Year has a saying that the first thing you’ll lose during your time of service is sleep, then soon after, perspective. The challenges we face every day may cause you to lose perspective, so it is very important to stay focused on why you’re here and what you came to accomplish. This is YOUR year, make it count.
  7. You will do anything for your students: On the first day of school, you will be overwhelmed as you try to learn an endless amount of new students names. By October you will not only know every name, but also every birthday, favorite snack, and personality of all of your students. They’ll be the reason you smile every day, enjoy every moment.
  8. Baton Rouge is a small town with BIG opportunity: Whether you want to work in the nonprofit sector, education, or any other field, there is a lot of opportunity in Baton Rouge. City Year will provide you with the time and tools to figure out life after your gap year and will give you face-to-face time with many professionals in your field. There’s a reason why there are so many CYBR alums all around the city!
  9. Use your time wisely: Speaking of life after your gap year…Use your time wisely! It may be hard to balance at first but make time to figure out your goals and future plans, while also taking in and enjoying every moment you have with your team and students.
  10. You’re about to have the best year of your life! From the endless laughs you’ll have with your students, to the amazing memories you’ll make with your team, you are about to have an amazing year! While it will be hard at times, remember your why and keep pushing because you are about to have the best year of your life!

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