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By Jonny Yao, Communications Coordinator

Standing before a crosswalk, a woman turned to me and asked, “New crew?”

“New crew,” I nodded.

“Good crew,” she said, gesturing to the large crowd of uniformly-dressed men and women across the street.

For 265 young adults, Monday, August 11 was their first day as AmeriCorps members serving with City Year Boston. Their presence was hard to miss as they stood outside the McKinley South End Academy, eagerly awaiting the start of service. Of course, “waiting” took the form of meeting and getting to know each other, bonding over their common purpose, and forging friendships that will grow well into the year.

Sandra at First Day of Service 2014

After the doors opened, the corps was welcomed by Sandra Lopez Burke, Vice President and Executive Director of City Year Boston, followed by Charlie Rose, Senior Vice President and Dean of City Year. During these introductions, the atmosphere of the room was a thoughtful one. AmeriCorps members listened intently and had opportunities to reflect and share what brought them to City Year, why they decided to serve, and what kind of difference they could make in the lives of others.

With those thoughts in mind, they were then deployed to physical service led by the Foundation to Be Named Later Boston Civic Engagement team. Splitting into two groups, one at McKinley South End Academy and the other at Blackstone Innovation School, the corps spent the rest of the day painting murals and school spaces, helping to cultivate an environment for learning.

Cafeteria Mural 2014

August 11 also marked the start of City Year Boston’s Basic Training Academy (BTA), a six-week intensive learning curriculum that prepares City Year AmeriCorps members for in-school service at Boston Public Schools. BTA will culminate at City Year Opening Day on September 20 at Condon Elementary School—we invite you to join us for Opening Day and the rest of Red Jacket Weekend.

Shadow Murals 2014

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