Corps Holiday Party-December 18th

By Celeste Wooldridge-Chillemi, AmeriCorps Member Mifflin High School 

The room was buzzing with energy and spirit as the 2015 Corps Holiday Party officially began. Instead of donning the usual red and khaki City Year uniform, corps members had the opportunity to go for a more casual look, representing the college they went to (or college they support). It took place on December 18th and was hosted at Ramseyer Hall on the Ohio State campus. The rental of the room was offered by Kate Harkin, OSU Director of the P-12 Initiative. Ms. Harkin opened the day by speaking to the corps about her time in Peace Corps, how that experience changed her outlook on life, and how it related to City Year. “Children are the new collateral damage often forgotten in large systems,” she said. She spoke about hope, how often children need someone to believe in them and push them further, and about “introducing [students] to their potential and power”.

After that meaningful talk, the staff members hosted their own community meeting. Corps members heard from Chief of Staff Adero Robinson on his experience growing up learning martial arts as a way to instill confidence in himself, and how he has passed it on to his children. Another exciting part of the community meeting was when Tasha Booker, Executive Director of City Year Columbus, shared her Life’s Work and how important it is to not “live life by default”.

When the inspiring community meeting concluded, it was time for the fun to start. The competition was Battle of the Neighborhoods: South vs. North vs. East schools all competing for a trophy and bragging rights in “Minute to Win It” style games. Corps members faced off, transferring M&M’s from one plate to another using only a straw and their mouth, eating a donut hanging from a string (without hands!), and unwrapping candy…while wearing socks on their hands. It was a tough competition, and good sportsmanship was shown. Ultimately, the North side won when it came down to the wire. It was a good way to loosen up before the winter holidays.

At final circle, gratitude and appreciation awards were given out to team members who were voted to have shown exemplary attitudes and strong team support. It was a good way to showcase the members of each team that have gone above and beyond. And as for the corps, they received a gift of a black fleece jackets to stay warm during winter morning greetings, thanks to the generous donation of NiSource, facilitated by new City Year Board Member Donald Brown.

The 2015 holiday party was a great way to kick off winter break and reflect on all that we have been thankful for during our first 5 months as corps members. We look forward to all that 2016 brings us!


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