By Néstor Muro, City Year Milwaukee Senior AmeriCorps Member, Civic Engagement Project Leader

As I transition from a corps member to serving as the Civic Engagement Project Leader for City Year Milwaukee, I have reflected on City Year’s purpose: to build democracy through citizen servicecivic leadership, and social entrepreneurship.  Last August, when I started as a first-year corps member, I was unaware how my role would contribute to the long-term success of our mission. After Basic Training Academy, I had a better understanding of what City Year is and what the organization strives to accomplish through its mission.  

City Year Milwaukee is in week 6 of our 8 week long Basic Training Academy (commonly known as BTA). I know, from my own experience, that during BTA I gained knowledge of what City Year stands, our organizational values and inspirational standards. I learned about our continued commitment to excellence.  

BTA helped me understand the importance of a team and how team dynamics are not only crucial to the success of our scholars, but also to the success working with staff at schools and supporters. By focusing on different leadership styles, we are able to work collaboratively and effectively on lesson plans, school events, organizational tasks, and more.    

This year, as I participate in my second BTA, I have been inspired to improve my working skills, reflect on my leadership role, and reach both professional and personal goals. A big motivator for me has been the community members that have spoken to the entire corps. Additionally, I am inspired by the staff and my fellow corps members who have shown passion for their work and have a desire to set goals for themselves and for our scholars to reach this year. 

I am fortunate to have been a part of trainings and discussions that have helped me build relationships with students and others. I have enjoyed sharing and gaining civic knowledge through our social justice discussions. These conversations help me to think critically about our communication to students, as near peers and mentors. City Year Milwaukee's BTA has provided a space for my fellow corps members and I have to develop professionally and personally. I am excited that in two weeks our corps members will be sharing their talents and skills with the youth of Milwaukee. 

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