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Three key skills I learned from my year of service

City Year Milwaukee

A year of service requires a vast amount of motivation and dedication. One service year can mold, change and strengthen you in various ways. Being able to do my service year at City Year Milwaukee has given me the chance to realize my strengths and weaknesses. Throughout the year, I was able to learn vital skills: communication, flexibility and accepting non-closure, are the three versatile tools I have learned from service and those around me.

City Year helped me learn how to communicate effectively.

Communication is always a good skill to work on and further develop. Through City Year, I have been able to communicate through different mediums ranging from in-person to remote communication. Making positive phone calls to parents was difficult for me at the beginning of the year. I had anxiety and would always mix up my words. With the coaching and practice that I got from communicating with my team and partner teacher, I was able to gain confidence and improve my communication with parents and staff at the school.

Through the various outlets I have come across, I have learned how to interact, receive and deliver information effectively.

As I journey on to the field of education, I feel more prepared and confident in addressing different audiences.

Though sometimes various assignments could be overwhelming, I have appreciated the way that each task has pushed me to alter and shape my ideas.

I learned how to be more flexible and have an open mind.

Being a high school student success coach has taught me to form my thoughts into reality. Helping in a whole class setting and executing lesson plans in a small tutoring session, leaves a lot of open opportunities for things not going as planned. City Year has taught me the power and importance of flexibility. Being flexible has allowed me to handle situations that are out of my control more elegantly. At the beginning of the year, when plans would change in the classroom, it was hard for me to roll with the new sudden information. Through my team and impact manager, I was able to strengthen my skill of not always being in control. I have learned that flexibility does not mean just having the capability to adapt to situations. It also embodies the ability to have an open mind to adjust and understand everything around you.

During these uncertain times, and service switching to remote work, I have further put into practice my flexibility in adapting a new way of executing tasks. I am thankful for the coaching given to me during service. It is hard to name and work on your weaknesses, but having a strong foundation of leaders who genuinely want you to grow has helped me to target and improve on my once weakest trait.

City Year Milwaukee, Bay View Team
My Bay View team has been a vast support for me in my personal and professional growth. I would have not been able to learn as much as I have without them by my side.

My year of service taught me how to accept non-closure.

As the uncertainty of normalcy is still unknown, I have been able to keep balanced by accepting that having non-closure is okay. At the beginning of the year, we learned about having hard conversations during our training days. Our facilitators would point out the importance of accepting non-closure in these situations. At first, it was hard for me to wrap my mind around it. I did not fully understand the importance of it until I came across instances in my service that I was unable to change or fully comprehend.

However, acquiring the skill of accepting non-closure has helped me trail through this epidemic. Not being with my students, and not being able to close out with my team the way I have envisioned, is hard. Understanding that non-closure is okay has helped me invest my energy and time in things that would benefit me and my service. I know that no matter where I go and what I do, this skill will help me get through tough situations.

City Year has helped me learn a lot more than three skills, but I know that these three skills will help me become the best I can be in my future. Though this year did not go as planned, I have learned a lot about myself; I have improved in areas that I could not have imagined without City Year.

Learn more about serving with City Year Milwaukee.

City Year Milwaukee AmeriCorps memberAbout the author:

Asalia Subia proudly serves as a Milwaukee City Year AmeriCorps member and is a proud alum of Old Dominion University in Virginia. When asked why she serves, Asalia said, “I believe all students are capable of building the futures they dream of; I serve because I also believe not all students are given the same tools to do so. I choose to serve with City Year to show they young voices of the future that they too can run with the elite.”

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