2018-05-14

You just clicked “Accept” on your invitation to serve with City Year. Now what!? Aside from feeling excited and inspired by the experience ahead, a million questions are probably racing through your mind. You are not the only one! As a member of City Year’s 2018-2019 corps, you are joining a community of more than 3,100 AmeriCorps members committed to making a difference in students’ lives across 28 cities nationwide. In our Fired Up to Serve series, you’ll hear firsthand accounts of your fellow incoming AmeriCorps members’ stories about what brought them to City Year, why they decided to apply, what they are most excited about, what they are most nervous about and so much more.

by Sharaya Solomon, City Year Detroit AmeriCorps member ’19

As a young child in and out of the foster care system, I fell in love with school. I always tried to be the best academically and earning perfect attendance was what motivated me the most (yes, seriously).  School was a haven for me to learn, see my friends and be encouraged to be myself.

My love and appreciation of school led me to become an education major at Wayne State University. As a Texan living in Detroit for the last six years, I’m able to truly see the growth and development that has taken place throughout the city. Unfortunately, this momentum has not reached education. It’s not uncommon to drive around a few blocks and see multiple closed and abandoned schools. Prior to living in Detroit, I had never seen a school closure before; I didn’t even know something like that could happen. As an education major, I was motivated to work toward improving our education system. City Year is working with schools, teachers and community members to improve education in Detroit. Applying to serve with City Year Detroit was the clear action I needed to take to contribute to the improvement.

Sharaya Solomon, poses at her university. She explains how she's #fireduptoserve her community in Detroit with City Year as an AmeriCorps member

Hearing about City Year’s sense of community and commitment to wanting to make a difference was what really captured my attention. This, combined with my interest in education, made applying to City Year seem like the perfect next step I needed to gain skills and experience in the classroom. Since applying and accepting my invitation to serve, Bear Mahowald, City Year Detroit’s admissions manager, has been a great help in welcoming me and making me and other incoming City Year Detroit AmeriCorps members already feel like a part of the team.

Through my year of service, I want to be a role model for students in my community. I hope to use my position as a City Year Detroit AmeriCorps member to help all students learn and succeed academically and personally. I want to help them realize they are capable of so many wonderful things. I am very open to sharing what I loved about school such as perfect attendance certificates, sticker methods and reading games like ‘popcorn’ to build trust and encourage self-motivation with students. I also hope to use open dialogue to see what motivates this new generation of learners and build trust with them.
 

Are you joining City Year next year? Share why you’re #fireduptoserve and you might be featured on our website, blog or national social media channels.

Sharaya Solomon is one of many future City Year AmeriCorps members who are fired up to serve. She is passionate about education and serving the students of Detroit in a few months.

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