2015-04-29

Profiles adapted from runners’ spotlights here

City Year Boston recently partnered with John Hancock’s Nonprofit Program for the 2015 Boston Marathon. John Hancock provides over 1,000 Boston Marathon bibs to select non-profit organizations throughout the community, offering a significant fundraising opportunity to chosen organizations. In 2014, John Hancock runners raised more than $10 million for over 120 different non-profit partners. 2015 marked John Hancock’s 30th year as principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon.

This year, four City Year alumni ran the Boston Marathon and raised more than $34,000 for City Year Boston. Though the runners were from different sites and service years, they united in their training and commitment to run 26.2 miles for our service, our city, and our students.

Chris Osgood ’95: In 1994, I joined the City Year corps in Boston. That year changed my life. I served as a teacher's assistant in a kindergarten class, helping students learn to read and write. I spent weekends leading a service program for 8th graders. By working with my fellow corps members, I learned as much about Boston that year as I had in my previous 18. Running the Boston Marathon means so much to me because during my City Year, I was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a peripheral nervous system disorder that causes severe muscle weakness and can have a long term impact on people's ability to even walk. I woke one morning feeling a little weak in my knees and ended that night in the intensive care unit at the Brigham and Women's Hospital. Over the next three weeks, I couldn't eat and barely moved. Thanks to the incredible doctors and nurses, my family and friends, and a very supportive City Year team, I fully recovered. The experience of those weeks and my entire City Year has shaped so much of the 20 years that followed.

Andrea Encarnacao Martin ’02: City Year has been an integral part of my life since I served as a corps member right after graduating college. At the time, I was not sure what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew I wanted to work with young people. City Year gave me an opportunity to make a difference and, along the way, helped me realize my potential as a leader and passion to empower others through service. As a member of the City Heroes team [in San Jose, California], I had the privilege of working with high school students, focusing on leadership development, social awareness, and community service. After recruiting close to 100 students for our program, we determined a theme for each month and orchestrated an overnight retreat and service day. Through planning and working with my teammates, I grew and gained skills that have served me well as a guidance counselor.

Kevin Fish 12: I served as a Corps Member with City Year Boston from 2011-2012. I spent the year at The English High School, in Jamaica Plain, MA alongside 11 other teammates. During my year of service, I worked with 9th grade students by providing in-class and after school support. It was truly a privilege to serve with an organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap and decreasing the high school dropout rate. I believe that leveling the educational playing field in the United States is my generation's duty and I plan on devoting my life to public service.

Kyle Forsyth ’13: I served both of my corps years at the Mildred Avenue School in Mattapan, where I worked with high need students to help get them back on track by focusing on their attendance, behavior, and coursework. I can easily say that it was one of the most valuable experiences of my life. I had no idea how much of an impact it would have on my own life. I came to realize, as many corps members do, that it is not only about helping your students with their education but also learning about yourself throughout the process. I know many of my students capitalized on the structure and support City Year gave them and became very successful young individuals but what they do not know is how much they taught me. I was inspired every day by what my students went through and how much they could accomplish with a little push. I saw a side of life and education I had never been exposed to and came to realize just how important and urgent the issues of education are in our society. City Year helped me define my passion for service and is the reason I decided to go into education full time.

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