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Why I still serve

We are fired up and back in schools! For many City Year AmeriCorps members their first year of service is transformational and a year they will never forget. But for some, one year of service is simply not enough. The strong bonds made with the students and a recognition of their high potential to excel makes coming back feel like second nature. As we prepare for Opening Day, a time in which we celebrate our committment to serve the students of Los Angeles, our current team leaders share what inspired them to return for another year of service!

Emily Mundo
Senior AmeriCorps member, Mendez High School 

Hometown: Compton, Los Angeles              

“I continue to serve because one year wasn’t enough for me. I met such resilient students, I grew and made relationships that struck me to my core. I continue to serve because I wanted to continue to be a guide to not only my students but to learn how to guide and support a City Year team. I’m fortunate to have been placed at the high school in which I served last year along with my resourceful Program Manager and wonderful Second-Year AmeriCorps Member, who I couldn’t do this without.”

Dan Graham
Project Leader, Civic Engagement Team 

Hometown: Chicago, IL    

“Serving with City Year has given me the opportunity to see the impact we have on students and schools. When I first met my students at Hollenbeck Middle School, where I served for two years, some said they wanted to drop out as soon as they could. But two years later, they proudly walked across the stage at their culmination.I’ve returned for a third year of service as a Project Leader to help beautify schools because I believe in the power of young people to make a difference in themselves and the world, and I want to continue to support them in whatever way I am needed.”

Marissa Meza
Senior AmeriCorps member, Roosevelt High School

Hometown: Whittier, CA    

“Growing up my parents worked extremely hard to provide for my brother and I. They instilled in us to dream big and if you work hard you can accomplish your goals. As I got older, I began to learn that unfortunately this is not true for everyone. I realized that there are so many other reasons, barriers and ways to define success. I am serving as a second-year Senior AmeriCorps member because no one should have to worry if their dreams are too big. I serve because equity in all facets of life should be a top priority for everyone.”


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