Sony has been a strong City Year partner since 2010. In 2015, Sony expanded its support to include sponsoring a new Sony Storyteller of the Year award at City Year’s graduation. And the prize? A new Sony digital camera!
Get to know award winner Cyn Njideka as she reflects on her what storytelling means to her.
Tell us a little about yourself.
This past year I had the pleasure of serving at UCLA Community School. I served as an AmeriCorps member with City Year because I’ve been afforded educational privileges that I must reinvest into marginalized communities. I live a very service-driven life which began when my mom started a Girl Scout Troop for me when there wasn’t one in our area. With the Girl Scouts, I learned that I could always be the change I wanted in the world and I earned my Gold Award after starting an international school supply drive when I was in 8th grade. I strongly believe that service keeps me tied to my humanity and that service is what fulfills my purpose for living.
What kept you motivated throughout your service?
Documenting my year of service on social media kept me motivated, accountable, and inspired. I’m a hardcore introvert so having to tell such an intricate story from the lens of my entire team felt a bit daunting at first – but it quickly grew to be one of my favorite parts of service. I’d often find myself in awe of my teammates when I’d ask them simple questions about what they were doing or how they felt about something and they’d respond with such passion right at the tip of their tongues. It kept me grounded. It helped me stay connected to why I serve and how I could show other people the dedication that I saw day in and day out. I wanted people to know that City Year was more than just tutoring, or helping students academically – every child has a whole world inside them and my team went above and beyond every single day to help their students succeed not only academically, but socially and emotionally.
Some of my all time favorite posts are of my teammates dancing around and just being silly during power greeting – being able to see the smiles of students coming in on a Monday morning already starting the day with laughter speaks so much to the dedication of corps members. Another favorite is of our Program Director Liz doing the Cha Cha slide in the middle of our school’s courtyard. She showed up to support us and our new community and that’s such a testament to who she is – she’s a ray of sunshine and support for the Night into Day family.
How will you be using your new Sony camera in the future?
Funny you should ask! Ever since getting the camera I’ve unabashedly been taking photos of absolutely everything. The fruit at the farmer’s market, my plants, my best friends making dinner – absolutely everything! Luckily I just started a new job in content production so having new tools to work with that will help me produce quality content. It's an immense blessing. I feel just as grateful every day as I did when I cried my way across the stage.