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Dexter Cypress standing proud at his high school graduation

Now that you've hit "Accept" on your invitation to serve with City Year, you're probably wondering: What's next? Aside from feelings of inspiration and excitement racing through your head, you probably have millions of questions on what lies ahead. You are not alone! As a member of City Year's 2018-2019 corps, you are joining a community of more than 3,100 City Year AmeriCorps members committed to impacting changes in the lives of students in 28 cities, nationwide. In City Year's Fired Up to Serve series, you will hear from incoming City Year AmeriCorps members about why they decided to serve, what makes them excited (and nervous) for service, how they hope to grow and what they hope to gain from this experience. 

Q: Tell us a little about yourself!

A: My name is Dexter Cypress, I'm 17 years old and I will be a City Year AmeriCorps member in Los Angeles this fall. I’m originally from the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. However, I’m about to graduate from Westfield High School in Westfield, New Jersey, where I’ve lived for the past three years.

Q: Are you nervous about moving across the country to serve?

A: I’m not too nervous! I’m always excited for a new adventure, and I think that City Year is the perfect next step for me before I go to college. I know it’s going to be challenging, but I’m definitely ready for this next chapter of my life. 

Dexter Cypress' CYLA-decorated graduation cap

Dexter's high school graduation cap

Q: Where did your passion for education and service begin?

A: My passion for education comes from growing up in the NYC public school system. I’m passionate about politics and government, and I plan on running for political office one day. One of the main reasons is because I believe every child deserves equal access to education, and currently, if your family comes from a lower income situation, you’re not getting a fair shot. Especially in New York, depending on what neighborhood you’re from, you could be subject to subpar education simply based on socioeconomic background. This isn’t fair to me and is the driving factor for me joining City Year.

Q: What will motivate you to stay dedicated throughout the year?

A: I’m motivated by my love and passion for education. I want to be able to see real change occur in our world, and it breaks my heart to see the massive differences between high and low-income school districts in education quality as well as funding. I want to dedicate my gap year before college to the service of students so that I can do my part to help prepare kids for their futures and help them achieve maximum success.

Q: What do you hope to learn during your year of service?

A: I hope to gain further knowledge of the public education system and better my skills working with children. I want to learn more about policies affecting public schools, and gain more skills for my career, as well as how to better help others. I think City Year is a wonderful organization that will change my life. I hope that through my service I’ll be able to make a real impact as well.

Are you joining City Year next year? Share why you’re #fireduptoserve and you might be featured on our website, blog or national social media channels.

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If you enjoyed this post, please check out:

Why Sharaya is Fired Up to Serve her Community

4 Books to Read Before Your Service Year 


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