One of the biggest things I learned from my experience is that doing a gap year with City Year isn't what some people think of as a gap year. It’s different than travelling or doing something easy and part-time. City Year is full-time and you will work harder than you ever have before (and probably more than you ever will in college). You will also mature, gain valuable skills and, meet some of the most compassionate teammates who will become your best and lifelong friends. All while devoting yourself to a cause greater than self. City Year is the motivation and focus you need after high school to find out which field you're passionate enough about what you want to study in college or if you want to take an alternate path.
If you are passionate about social justice and equal opportunity, and willing to invest 50-55 hours a week of frustrating, emotional, but incredibly rewarding work, seriously consider it! It's not easy, but you will meet some of the best people, have a better idea of what you want to do in life, and truly find about your passions and values.
-Claire Dempsey (CYNY '12-'13, Pitt Sophomore)