be_ixf;ym_202312 d_11; ct_50 YES! I want to make a difference TODAY!

Reflections on service

The ideals of service, joy, trust and gratitude have always been important to me. In City Year, I have been encouraged, empowered and given the tools to live these ideals out on a day-to-day basis.

I’ve held myself to the highest standard of living these out every day during the service year for two reasons: I’ve been reminded daily that my team deserves the best version of me every day. When you meet people who make you a better person and love you as your authentic self, it’s motivating. [To my] Central Middle School City Year team, I want to say thank you for making me better and picking me up when I’ve been low. I’ve also been reminded that the students deserve the best. My students taught me so much this year. I am forever grateful to them.

You might be wondering why I have put such a big focus on service, joy, trust and gratitude.

First, I want to share the following: When I show up in any City Year space, the notion of being privileged overwhelms me. It’s a privilege to serve with City Year, which has only amplified my sense of gratitude.

Secondly, I want to share PITW #138: “City Year thrives on trust and joy.” During my service year, the resolve and resiliency to carry-on despite challenges grew with trust and joy.

Lastly, I want to share this: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s wise words remind me that I can be great because I can serve.

Pictured: Braden Smith (left), Jermal Perkins (right).

Jermal Perkins served as an AmeriCorps member on the Hunt Family Foundation/Chiefs team at Central Middle School for the 2021-2022 school year. A St. Louis native, Jermal moved to Kansas City to complete his undergraduate degree in communication and English at Rockhurst University. Jermal served in a seventh-grade classroom and worked to support students in academic and social-emotional learning.

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