By Gino Zavala, ’14

Having been born in Boston, this will always be my city and a special place for me. I don’t ever think I will move away from here. I am a first generation American and I’ve always felt a sense of connection to Boston. I know all of the neighborhoods, have close friends who live in several of them, and have seen this city persevere through many ups and downs. At the end of it all, I’m so proud of what this city has accomplished.

I decided to serve with City Year Boston because I wanted to invest in developing the future leaders of this city as well as get to know a group of my peers who are just as committed to this community as I am. Yesterday was our corps graduation; I know that I will look fondly back on my time with City Year; every time that I walk past my school or the office—or see a red jacket—my mind will start to jog with memories.

As an alumnus, I know that I’ll stay connected with City Year in many ways. If I’m on the bus and I see a new corps member in a red jacket, I will approach him or her, introduce myself and ask how their corps year is going.

In the fall, I also look forward to coming back to participating in Red Jacket Weekend (September 19-21)—especially the Opening Day service event and festival. As a Service Reserve to the Boston Civic Engagement Team during my corps year, I know firsthand how much time, energy, and effort goes into setting up, implementing, and executing a large scale service day. I look forward to being a part of the team of volunteers who come back to serve for that weekend—not to just reminisce about service, but to also give all my heart to the projects. I plan to be an excellent volunteer among the alumni family and I hope put in some extra hours as well, just as I did this year!

Though there are countless other ways to stay connected that I can’t even imagine right now as my corps year comes to a close. I look forward to being an available mentor and friend to all the future corps members! 

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