Arya Cohen served as a Campus Recruitment Ambassador (CRA) for City Year at the University of Delaware during her senior year. Arya is from Roslyn, New York and studied psychology and sociology with a social welfare concentration at the University of Delaware. She has submitted an application for City Year New York to serve next year and awaits the decision!
What were your main responsibilities while working as the University of Delaware's CRA?
As CRA at the University of Delaware, it was my role to spread the word about City Year on campus as much as possible. I led 3 interest sessions right before each deadline, contacted Registered Student Organizations (RSO)s with information for their members about City Year, attended networking events and utilized social media to engage with more students. .
Why did you choose to apply to be a CRA?
Over winter session at UD (a 5 week time period where you can intern, study abroad or take classes), I interned at Communities In Schools of Delaware. After that experience, I felt very passionate about education. Applying to be the CRA was a great way for me to have a connection with another non-profit to work towards closing the education achievement gap.
What skills did you take away from your CRA experience? How do you think your CRA year will impact your future studies and career?
Most importantly, I learned how to communicate effectively by practicing my elevator pitch, talking about my experience and background with City Year in three minutes or less. I learned how to network at events andstrengthen my organizational and time management skills, all of which will be extremely important in my future. Being a CRA and representing City Year has made me realize how passionately I feel about non-profit organizations, and specifically how much of a need there is to help students in grade school reach their full potential. Wherever I may end up in the future, I know that I want to be working with like-minded individuals, at an organization that sees a better future for at-risk youth.
What was the highlight of your CRA experience?
Aside from working with my fantastic supervisor, Dawn, and meeting and networking with so many new people, the highlight of my CRA experience was helping coordinate a panel on campus with City Year, Peace Corp and Teach For America. With 75 students in attendance, I think we were really able to reach a new audience of students. It was a great experience for students to hear about various organizations that are all trying to positively contribute to the world.
Adrianna Lucero served with City Year Jacksonville after her Sophomore year at Harvard. After service, she returned to Harvard and became a Campus Recruitment Ambassador for two years. She graduated this spring with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies.
What were your responsibilities when serving in Jacksonville as a corps member?
I supported a teacher in a 9th grade reading classroom, and worked one-on-one or in small groups on reading skills with the 7 awesome students on my "focus list". I also assisted with whole-school events and activities and with ELA related-initiatives as the literacy coordinator.
The most unique part of my experience was the fact that it was the start-up year for Jacksonville, so our team and corps did a lot to build connections with the school and community, many of whom had never heard of City Year before. I remember getting to be a part of round tables and discussions with school, business, and political leaders, learning from them and telling them about City Year.
Why did you choose to apply to be a CRA?
I really enjoyed my time with City Year and thought the program would benefit my peers, a lot of whom are passionate about education! Plus, since City Year was founded by Harvard alums, it is really exciting to be recruiting on the campus where it all started.
What advice do you have for alumni who want to recruit for City Year?
Represent City Year beyond just the career fairs and info sessions! I'm not saying you need to wear your red jacket all the time; what I am saying is that I think a successful CRA continues to embody the values and mission of City Year by staying involved with education and service on campus. My most meaningful conversations about City Year were informally talking about the experience with the peers I met in classes about education or in service-related student groups.
Why would you recommend this program to City Year Alumni?
It's a fun way to continue to impact students' lives by making sure there are great people to fill your boots!