be_ixf;ym_202405 d_29; ct_100 YES! I want to make a difference TODAY!

Service to success

 

a young student smiles and looks up at an AmeriCorps member while shaking their hand

A passion for service

Jesus Martinez grew up seeing City Year red jackets around Boston. He participated in City Year afterschool programs as a student and when he graduated from college, Jesus knew City Year would be part of his journey to law school. “I knew their values aligned with mine. I didn’t know what to expect,” Jesus recalls laughing, “but I wanted the experience of serving and leading others.”

Today, Jesus is a Paralegal Advocate at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School: Project on Predatory Student Lending Clinic. He assists students who attended for-profit colleges and have been victimized by predatory student loan lending.

Jesus credits his City Year experience for teaching him the leadership and professional skills he uses in his role today. As a Paralegal Advocate, his job is to help clients understand the law and how to navigate it. As an AmeriCorps member, he worked with English Language Learners at The English High School and translated classroom instruction and materials for students. “I saw first-hand how important language and access is for advocacy. My City Year experience gave me an even greater appreciation for serving others. The experience solidified my passion for public interest law.”

Now Jesus liaises between clients and lawyers, the same way he once worked with students and partner teachers.
That relationship building is key to his work. “I know I wouldn’t be successful if I couldn’t build trusting relationships with my clients” Jesus says. Relationship building is a fundamental aspect of service.

At The English High School, Jesus was surrounded by collaborative teammates. When asked about serving with City Year, he describes the professionalism. “The days were long, but I had an amazing team and made friendships I still have today.”

Jesus took advantage of City Year’s professional development resources and met his mentor through the program, and even shadowed her for a day. “My mentor still helps me,” Jesus describes, “Those resources can make a difference in your career whether you pursue education, medicine, or law like me.” Next year, Jesus plans on taking the LSAT and eventually studying immigration law in school.

The leadership, public speaking, and soft skills he learned will be a huge asset to him as a lawyer. “When I look back, service was an amazing challenge. I tell everyone, go in with an open mind, and understand it will be a life-changing experience.”

Are you ready to invest in yourself? Connect with a local recruiter for more information about serving in Boston, or start your application today!

Related stories

March is an extra special month here at City Year – not only do we get to celebrate AmeriCorps Member...

Read more about Celebrating Women's History Month!

Every year, City Year Greater Boston’s Civic Engagement (BCE) team leverages the power of thousands of volunteers to improve the...

Read more about Celebrating Massachusetts STEM Week

Some might say my journey to discovering City Year and my passion for working in education was an unconventional one....

Read more about The importance of human connection

My name is Rebecca Begemann, and I am a Second Year AmeriCorps member serving at Brighton High School in Boston,...

Read more about Consistency Really is Key
National Strategic Partners
National Partners