by Nyasia Burgos, AmeriCorps member serving on the DePuy Synthes Companies of Johnson & Johnson with Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School

“I don’t know…yet.” This is phrase that has become embedded in the minds of my 3rd-graders, as well as myself.

Giving up and not trying your best is always easy, whereas putting in more effort takes hard work and dedication. It’s easy to take the passive path and give up or put off anything necessary, though this path never leads to actual growth; instead it leads to stagnation. Our thoughts become our actions and our actions become our daily lives. Living a passive life predetermines a year filled with days, weeks and months that are very similar, if not the same.

Being in the middle of my service year now has made me think of how much I have grown personally and professionally. Skills that I have developed in my year so far include:

  • Team collaboration. Working on a diverse team with 13 individuals was very new to me at the beginning of the year. Learning how to bounce ideas off of others on a consistent basis was very foreign to me but is an important and highly transferrable skill.
  • Leadership. City Year Boston has given me opportunities to assume roles where it is up to me to take initiative and lead others. In addition to in-school service, I write with Red Jacket Reporters, do extra physical service with the Service Reserves, and serve as my team's the Social Emotional Learning Working Group Leader.
  • Time management. With so many responsibilities to juggle, time management is key. Through City Year Boston's high expectations and high support, I've found a system that works for me.
  • Goal setting. I'm an active co-creator in my service year experience. Setting goals has become a huge part of my life.

Prior to City Year, I had not fully developed many of these skills. In the beginning of the year, when many extra leadership opportunities were brought up, I knew that it was my time to grow and develop these skills. And now, mid-year, I can confidently say that I will be well prepared to enter into the workforce after City Year.


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