Dennis Elwell is a Team Leader, serving his second year at City Year Philadelphia.

I joined City Year with the aim to positively impact the lives of young people and to see what it was like to work in the education field. Over the past two years, I’ve gained a better understanding of what it takes to thrive in a classroom setting. However, when I first donned the red jacket, I had a lot of questions around what my year of service would look like.

 As you start thinking about your upcoming service year, you may also be wondering what your experience will be like and how you’ll get the most out of it. To help give you a better picture, I asked my teammates at G.W. Childs School to share their advice. Here are a few highlights:

“Be well organized”



“Never take anything personal. Don’t let your students’ bad days become your bad days.”

“It’s okay to be strict with your students. Holding your students to high standards is a great way to show that you care about them.”

“It is hard, but be strong.”


For more great advice, check out this video:



If you enjoyed this piece, check out: 

-Surviving the Housing Headache

-Living on a Stipend: The Value of Money

-Hope For the Year: An Open Letter to Learners

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