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

On a typical day, I’m wearing a white t-shirt with the City Year logo adorned on the upper left side; however, the days I get to swap my white shirt for my red shirt are my favorite. My red shirt reads “serious about service” on the back, and gets worn only when I am serving as Project Coordinator (PC)
for the Boston Civic Engagement (BCE) team.

BCE consists of seven second year AmeriCorps members whose main objective is boosting morale and beautifying schools, parks, and community centers in Boston. Often, they make resource kits to show the students and teachers that their lives matter both inside and outside of the classroom. Additionally, they clean up parks, paint schools, work with local charities, and a myriad of other activities. As a Project Coordinator, I lead a group of volunteers in a project created specifically for the community.

Most recently, I facilitated a project on Martin Luther King Jr. Day for the Nathan Hale K-5 School in Roxbury, Ma. A group of 4 PCs led around 80 volunteers throughout the day to create student healthy living kits and school supply kits, teacher appreciation kits, and murals to be hung in the
school. Sounds simple—but there are about 4-5 pieces to each kit that need to be made before you can even assemble it! For example, a teacher supply kit includes: A hand-painted mug, painted tote bag, hot chocolate kit, decorated tissue box, and then all the school essentials (tissues, pens, pencils, etc.) It is, logistically, very challenging. When I was given my project assignment, fear struck me: How will I EVER get all of this done?

However, I took a step back and realized, if there is one thing City Year Corps Members are good at, it's collaboration. Every day corps members are working closely on a team of 4-15, and the best way to get things done is together.

On the day of the project, I was feeling more confident that we were going to make a difference. Together, we problem solved what order we needed to do things in and how we were going to do them. In the end, we were able to finish our project on time with the help of our wonderful, hardworking

Wearing any City Year gear means that I am part of a team dedicated to make a difference in the communities we serve. Even when a task or project seems impossible, putting all the different and unique minds together here at City Year Boston makes the impossible possible. 

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