By Devante Thornton ’15, AmeriCorps member of the Deloitte team with Irving Middle School

Dear future City Year AmeriCorps members: I believe these three tips are some of the most important things you'll need to keep in mind for a powerful year of service.

1. Prepare The Night Before: Professionalism is critical, so punctuality is very important. You can save time by getting everything you need ready the night before. Doing laundry, making your lunch, showering, and picking out your clothes in preparation for your next morning will set you up for success and give you a head start seizing the day.

2. Remember the Students: The most important part of a successful year of service will be the relationships that you build with all of your students. On your first day of school, start trying to build a relationship with every student you encounter. At first this goal may feel unrealistic, but, for the rest of the year, your experience will be defined by these relationships. Some relationships will happen right off the bat, and some won't be established until mid-March. The challenge is to constantly work at those relationship, showing students that no matter what happens through the year, you are there for them any time they need you; you care about them, their future, and their success.

3. Why?: Why are you here? Why do you want to serve? Why did you choose City Year? Before you receive your red City Year jacket and dedicate it, think about your answers to those three questions. If your answers are meaningful to you, and you remind yourself of them throughout the year, you will have that centering point for your year of service.

Good Luck on your City Year!

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