Today's blog features Conor Emser of the Comcast NBC Universal Team at Jean Ribault Middle School, who shares gratitude for an important part of his City Year experience. 

Conor with his roommates on a hike.

The hatchback of my trunk squeaked as I slammed it shut; three backpacks sat fully packed with supplies in the back as my roommates eagerly mapped out directions for Georgia. We had left school early due to the Tropical Storm Hermine – being new to Florida, and unsure of what the weekend would entail – I decided to convince my roommates to flee into the mountains of the Appalachian Trail to go hiking with me for the weekend. 

By 9 PM, after hastily throwing together our backpacks with supplies, we were en route to Georgia’s Springer Mountain. Driving through the middle of the night, arriving at 4 AM, and falling asleep in the back of a truck in preparation for a day of climbing mountains was a huge leap of faith for my roommates to take. We, my roommates Grace and Sadie (fellow AmeriCorps Members at Susie E Tolbert Elementary and Highlands Middle School), had just met only a few months prior. But without hesitation, the three of us became close friends after this small retreat away from City Year. 

And as I reflect on my past few months here, that is what I am most thankful for: my roommates. I am thankful that they trusted me to experience with them something I loved. I am thankful that they have accepted me for who I am. I am thankful that they have listened to me after stressful days at school – and celebrated with me during the inspiring ones, as well. I am thankful that we can laugh one moment and have meaningful conversations the next. At the end of each day, I am thankful my roommates are City Year AmeriCorps Members, and together we are sharing the experience of this year of service when we come home each night.

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