We asked the team's serving at Phillips Academy High School and John Hope College Prep what they were thankful for this year.
“My support system. I do still live close enough to my family that I can go home for a weekend. Definitely my roommates. They’re amazing - they listen to me talk about City Year, and they think that they’re a part of it.
One of my roommates came to a Unity Rally, because it was right by her office, and when she came home that night she was singing “Spi-rit! Yeah, we got it…” – it had gotten stuck in her head.
And my team! And even though we don’t always agree with each other’s points of view, we’re still there to support each other.”
“I’m thankful that I get to be back in Chicago.”
“Dana [Phillips' Team Leader]. Because if it wasn’t for her…I would still be the same person that I was, just very negative and pessimistic…and it holding me back from a lot of great opportunities the rest of the year has for me. I’m grateful to her, for being a great role model.”
“I got engaged this year, so I’m most thankful for a supportive home life.”
“My Dad just got back from Afghanistan, and he had been gone for a year. He just retired from the military, too… so I’m happy that he can be at home.”
“Hmmm. That’s tough. I generally say ‘food.’ But…this year is not different from any of the other years. So I’m thankful to eat a lot, especially right before Thanksgiving.”
Dana - Team Leader:
“Opportunity. And possibility. I see a lot of our kids don’t necessarily know that, anything that they want to do [in life] is possible. So I’m thankful… that I understand that, outside of Phillips and outside of Chicago, there’s tons of different opportunities and possibilities for my next steps and life after City Year.”
“I’m thankful for my cousin. We’ve been through a lot this year… and I’m thankful that she’s someone that I can lean on.”
“My perspective has changed entirely as a result of City Year, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to see the world in a different light.”
“I am very thankful for my advocates, who continue to remind me what’s important in moments when I’m really exhausted.
Here at John Hope, I’m most grateful for the students who I’ve seen thank the peers around them… they’re starting to realize that, to give support is to get support.”
“I’m thankful for the opportunities that I’ve had. Even though I grew up like them [students in Englewood], I had someone that took the time for me… and explain to me what I had, and what I was capable of. They gave me opportunities to see that, these were mine, and I took them and ran with them. And some of these kids, they don’t have that.”
“I’m most thankful for the team that I had when I was doing Wild & Fire Management [with NCCC]. I wouldn’t have been able to complete the program if not for those 9 individuals.”
Marcus – Team Leader:
“I’m honestly thankful that I got paired with Stormie [Impact Manager & City Year Chicago Alumna ’14-‘15]. We work really well together - and Miriam, the Team Leader that’s in my team-let*… I don’t know that I could have necessarily guessed that, going into July, but these are the perfect two people that I could have been teamed up with. We balance each other out somewhat, and we’re a good support system for one another, so as far as the service goes, that’s one of the things I’m most thankful for.”
* a team-let refers to the two school teams which an Impact Manager oversees