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A Cause Worth Celebrating

My first year as a City Year Corps member has been filled with lows and highs. Reporting to school at 7:00 am and being surrounded by a sea of children for 10 hours a day can be exhausting. However, the pros far outweigh the cons. Seeing a student’s face after earning a good grade or connecting with a student struggling helps remind me why I am doing the service I am doing. These moments can sometimes get lost in the sheer number of hours that we serve, but with events like the Red Jacket Luncheon, it felt good to be celebrated and have so many of our stories highlighted. 

The Luncheon took place at the Pavilion at Heifer Village. As guests arrived, my fellow Corps members and I joined the Cloverdale Cheer Team to greet guests with cheers and high-fives. Everyone then took their seats while the choir from Cloverdale performed. Executive Director of City Year Little Rock Jennifer Cobb then delivered remarks to the audience, expressing her gratitude to the corps and all the donors who helped make our service possible. Once Jennifer was finished, a video featuring fellow corps member Ajoyah Jones and her partner teacher Laquita Steward was played for everyone to watch. The video highlighted how Ajoyah, like many other Corps members, has positively impacted her partner teacher’s and focus list students’ lives. It was moving to watch the video to see how one of my peers has made such a difference in the school she serves. Mrs. Steward was then granted the Susan Purvis Award, awarded to a partner teacher every year that is said to successfully exhibit “the principals of curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, and continued learning in and out of the classroom.”  

After the video was played, three other corps members, along with me, were joined on stage by Dr. Jermall Wright, the Little Rock School District superintendent, to have a panel and discuss our experiences serving in our schools. I was incredibly nervous before speaking in front of all the guests, including Mayor Frank Scott Jr. and numerous other important attendees. However, I was also extremely excited to share my experiences and what serving with City Year so far has meant to me. It was inspiring to be in the same space with so many people that are dedicated to the future of our students by improving our education system.  

After the panel then came the fundraising portion. As someone who was born and raised in Little Rock, it moved me to see so many people investing in our work in Little Rock public schools and helping to build a strong foundation for our community. 


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