City Year's unique culture is grounded in a powerful set of values illuminated by our Founding Stories. One is the story of Ubuntu, a Zulu proverb which means, “I am a person through other people. My humanity is tied to yours.”
Ubuntu exemplifies City Year's effort to recognize our connections to one another. Respect, human dignity, compassion and building community through our daily lives are key components to recognizing how we are all interconnected.
As we acknowledge Hispanic Heritage Month, Senior AmeriCorps member Yadi Maravillas shares how proud she is to share her cultural roots with her students at Carver Middle School. Being a mentor to young scholars she can learn, share, teach and appreciate her Hispanic Heritage with each of her students.
What does it mean to you to be a Latinx AmeriCorps member?
“I feel proud to be serving as a Latinx Senior AmeriCorps member because it is helping pave the way for me to be a voice in my community. Serving with City Year has been a great opportunity to explore cultural diversity and become more engaged in social justice issues. Sadly, my community is regularly cast in a negative light, so as a Latinx City Year Los Angeles Senior AmeriCorps member, I get to change those negative perceptions. Even the smallest steps I make as a corps member towards spreading a positive perception of my community make me proud.”
What difference do you hope to make?
“Although I don’t identify the same way as all of my students I am proud to share my culture with them. Not only can I share my Latinx roots, but I also get to learn about ways that my students’ culture intertwines with mine. I am excited to get to know my students and have them get to know me better in return. I'm also excited to share an appreciation for our cultures and roots, whether its speaking Spanish, exploring favorite dishes or how we live -- once others get to know our culture for its beauty and uniqueness, they might have a newfound appreciation and find connections to their own cultures.”