be_ixf;ym_202008 d_03; ct_50 Learn more about City Year’s response to COVID-19

The Value of Team

“Do you have any experience working on a team?” was one of the first questions I was asked in my City Year interview about a year ago. I considered all the different kinds of teams I have been on throughout my life: childhood soccer teams, group project teams in school, and teams I’ve formed with friends and family over the years to support each other. It was a question I thought I had a good understanding of, and I did eventually get the job, but I think my ideas of what a team is and can be, have been fundamentally changed throughout this experience.

A team is more than a group of people working together. Sometimes a team is donuts during an especially hard week.

I met my City Year teammates – Evie, Jelly, Darrylisha, Vic, Meghann, and Eunice – the third day of work, with our last team member, Argie, joining us about a week later. Things were awkward at first, and training was filled with mostly quiet lunches and trying to bond over the few things we knew we shared, like the long line for the microwave during Basic Training Academy. In my head, I could picture us being close somewhere down the line, but I didn’t know how we would get there. By the end of the training, Darrylisha was standing in front of our whole portfolio, thanking us for being her team. A few weeks later, we were dedicating our red jackets and sharing the people and things we love most in the world with one another. Now, we’ve found a lot of comfort in our shared work and in knowing that there are seven other people who are ready with advice or support.

Olivia and her teammates who serve at Lovett Elementary School

When I come to school bright and early every morning, I know I have seven other people on my side. More than that, I know there are seven other people on my students’ side. I serve in a fifth-grade classroom, and I know that I’m the City Year face my students see every day, but these students also have seven other AmeriCorps members that they trust. Seven other AmeriCorps members to talk to about their favorite video game, and to teach new TikTok dances to during lunch, and seven other AmeriCorps members to pull them aside in the hallway on a bad day just to check-in. This team has unity in our purpose as City Year AmeriCorps members. We are here for our students. Knowing that we share the same motivation makes us work better together, so we can work harder for our students.

When I come to school bright and early every morning, I know I have seven other people on my side.

A team is more than a group of people working together. Sometimes a team is donuts during an especially hard week, friendly competition over a game of Phase 10, and a strong appreciation for the difficult work we do every day. All these things and more are what my team is made of, and it’s a team with which I’m proud to serve.

Related stories

As a queer woman of color, my identities are something that I think about all the time; in every aspect...

Read more about Waving My Rainbow Flag

My students have impacted me, as much as I have impacted them because they help me to understand what students...

Read more about AmeriCorps Member Spotlight

In January 2020, I was given the task of helping a student out in English, who could not grasp the...

Read more about With Patience and Support Comes Student Success

I was born at Mercy Hospital near Chicago’s Motor District on the Southside. I didn’t grow up in Chicago’s Southside,...

Read more about What Ubuntu Means to Me and My Service Year
National Strategic Partners
  • AbbVie logo
  • AT&T logo
  • Comcast NBC/ Universal logo
  • CSX logo
  • Deloitte logo
  • New York Life Foundation logo
  • Pepsico logo
  • Red Nose Day logo
National Partners
  • Aramark logo
  • Bank of America logo
  • Bain Capital logo
  • Celanese logo
  • NFL Inspire Change logo
  • Santander logo