Why did you serve with City Year?
“I served with City Year because I wanted to help people and to make a difference,” said City Year AmeriCorps alumna Molly Mitzner. This passion to make a difference in her community not only fueled her corps year, but would ultimately set the trajectory for her entire career. Continue reading to learn how Molly continues to build upon the skills she learned at City Year.
What is one pivotal moment from your year of service?
Just one?! I’d say it was the first time one of my teachers was out in the fall and we had a substitute. I was trying to explain to [the sub] how we ran morning activities and the lesson plans my teacher left. The substitute decided to take a more passive role to let me lead. And I did. I led the class that day. I think it was the first time that I really thought, “Hey, I can do this.” After that, I had a little more confidence in the knowledge that I knew what I was doing and that I could handle it.
What was your favorite part of serving?
My favorite part of serving was my team. They were what got me through every day. The support I had was incredible. We had so much fun together. Yes, we could drive each other crazy at times, and yes, it was difficult working with seven other extremely different personalities, but we were a family. We had each other’s backs and we had a great time while we were doing it.
[To learn more about what it’s like to serve on a diverse, City Year team, watch this video]
How did City Year guide you to where you are today?
City Year set me on the career trajectory that I’m on today. Before City Year, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. Through my year in service, I was able to learn about Corporate Social Responsibility and had the opportunity to meet professionals in the field. I realized that this is what I wanted to do with my career I learned how I could become involved in this type of work.
How do you feel City Year prepared you for your career at CSX?
City Year prepared me for my career in so many ways. On a basic level, I was able to learn about the field of Corporate Citizenship in general through my interactions with sponsors of City Year.
But more than that, in my service I was able to learn and refine my skills in teamwork, attention to detail, accountability, assertiveness, resilience and passion for a cause. I could keep going! Name any skill that you need for a job and I can think of how my time with City Year helped me to improve upon that skill.
What values do you feel City Year and CSX share?
I think that CSX shares this belief in communities and relationships and the value of young people. One of CSX’s core values is giving back to the communities where employees live and work, because we know that children and communities matter. There is a shared belief in the power of young people.
City Year and CSX also both value the importance of teamwork and inclusivity. I would not be successful in my role if I didn't work effectively with my team. Same goes for City Year. And, both organizations demand excellence. You need to do your best and be your best to succeed. Neither will accept less. It’s important to strive for that in order to achieve the best outcomes for both City Year and CSX.
If you could give one piece of advice to the corps member who are about to start their service year, what would it be?
Go all in.
Commit to City Year wholeheartedly and you’ll be glad you did. It can be hard at first to do that; I don’t think there was any way for me to know exactly what I was getting myself into. But at some point you just need to say, “This is going to be my life for a year, and I’m going to commit my all to being a part of this program. I’m going to do everything I can for these kids and the people that I work with, and learn from every experience.”