By Seamus McGuire, AmeriCorps Member, Alumni Sponsored Team,
Serving at Parker Varney Elementary School
At the start of the year, the Parker-Varney City Year team was unsponsored. It felt like we were missing what other teams had. To our pleasant surprise, on opening day as we waited to take the stage and recite our service statements CYNH alumni board chair, Paul Riley appeared in front of us. He quickly told us that we were going to be the first alumni sponsored team in City Year history.
As a member of the Parker-Varney team, it’s an honor to serve on the first alumni sponsored team at City Year NH. We represent, and embody the spirit of the alumni. Once you’re a City Year, you’re always a City Year. I think it shows that even when your service year is over, you still care about the organization and support it in different ways. With the end of the year approaching, all of this year’s corps members will soon be crossing the bridge to becoming alumni themselves. I think the prospect of having a team that is supported by past corps members is very appealing and shows that our relationship with this organization will continue far beyond our year of service.
When I sat down to interview Paul Riley I asked him what the Parker-Varney Alumni Sponsored Team meant to him. He said, “We take it very seriously! We (the alumni) want to support the whole site and we are able to do that by sponsoring a team.” He also wanted to make it clear that Alumni don’t only support Parker-Varney. Paul said, “We want to support every corps member and with this sponsorship, that’s possible.” Paul went on to talk about his connection with Parker-Varney. Although he never served there, his good friend, Damond Ford was the first Team Leader at Parker-Varney. He said, “I’ve known a lot of people over the years who served at Parker-Varney. I never served at the Manchester schools, but I have a cool connection to Parker-Varney through my fellow corps members who I served with.”