2014-05-09

Guest blog by Marcy Reed, President of National Grid in Massachusetts and City Year Boston Board Member

I’ve had the opportunity to meet many of the amazing students whom City Year serves. They’re faced with challenges that most of us will never know, and can only try to understand. So, when a young girl told me recently she’s going to be a doctor because she likes science and helping people, I was ecstatic. Seeing firsthand her desire for accomplishment is simply one affirmation of my and National Grid’s concerted effort to support City Year. City Year’s students, the corps members, volunteers, and supporters have reinforced and given more meaning to five lessons I hold as absolute truths:

1. Anyone can make a difference.

The dedicated corps members who spend 10 intense months encouraging, guiding, and supporting high-risk students are unbelievably hard workers. They apply to the program intending to make a difference: and they do. I know this because…

2. …Data drives performance.

We have countless anecdotes that illustrate the benefit of City Year, but just as it is in the business world, there must be hard data to support our investments. City Year knows that students with poor attendance, disruptive behavior and low academic performance only have a 25 percent chance of graduating on time – so they reach these kids early.

3. The world is full of good intent.

Though we’re constantly surrounded by negative media, you don’t have to look far to see the amazing work people are doing to make our communities better places to work and to live. Helping our children get and stay on the right track is not only a business imperative for National Grid, where we are focused on trying to grow the future workforce – it’s the right thing to do, period.

4. Hiring opportunities come from unlikely places.

I love the corps members just as much as I love City Year’s mission, and I’m confident they will bring their dedication to service to a career in a corporate environment. We are excited to be organizing a career day at National Grid for corps members, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some of them working for us in the future.

5. All students want to learn and grow.

Just as the student I mentioned earlier wants to be a doctor, so does every child have dreams and goals. With support like that provided through City Year, we are helping more and more children not only recognize their potential, but achieve it.

City Year’s presence in cities across our National Grid territory, as well as its mission to build the urban graduation pipeline, meshes with our goals to grow the future workforce and provide rewarding volunteer opportunities to our employees. Many National Grid employees have been touched by and contributed to City Year, and I’m proud of this partnership.

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