Andy Jordan '12 '13 (far right) pictured above with teammates on the Parkver-Varney Team
My name is Andy Jordan. I am 28 years old from Milford, MA. I had the pleasure of serving with City Year New Hampshire in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 as a corps member and team leader at Parker-Varney Elementary School in Manchester. After completing my two years of service, I had the great opportunity to work as Special Projects Coordinator for the site in 2013-2014. During my three City Years, I was challenged to learn and grow more than I ever expected. Beyond that, I was supported and encouraged to be the best possible version of myself and to catalyze that version to do good no matter what direction I was going.
On a personal level, City Year taught me many things about myself. Before departing for Manchester, I had always chosen the easy path, gone with the safest bet. High school came easy to me in terms of grades and a social life. College was more of the same as I chose a safe (albeit great) school in UMass Amherst which I attended with four of my closest friends from high school. City Year was the first decision I made that kicked away the safety net and forced me out of my comfort zone. As if I wasn’t already outside that zone enough, the CY experience naturally forced me even further. Difficult conversations about privilege, conflict resolution when tough disagreements would arise, pushing myself through long days of service, and committing to a cause greater than any one person made for some of the hardest but most rewarding work I’ve done. I can only describe it as an awakening. City Year literally made me see the world in a different light and has had a profound impact on me since my earliest days of serving.
Professionally, I have City Year to thank for so much of my day to day interactions at work. First, and most importantly, CY changed the direction of my professional life from the get go. Not surprisingly, I embarked on a business management degree in college because it was the easy path. I didn’t chase my interest in teaching, writing, or hell, even robotics because my family had studied “business” and held jobs in “business”. From early on in my CY experience, I knew teaching was out. But my eyes were also opened to the wonderful work of nonprofit organizations and the ability to work for a living while contributing to a cause that you are passionate about. Second, I’m so thankful for the level of professionalism and etiquette I learned at CY. From small things like how to carry yourself in meetings and planning a retreat to the larger functions of strategic planning and fundraising, my learning at CY grew exponentially with each year I was afforded. The leadership staff at CYNH has had a greater impact on me than I imagine any of them realize. It was truly a pleasure to work closely with Pawn, Ted, Megyn, and so many great others. I hope to have a similar influence on others that CYNH had on me through my current every day work. Though my focus has shifted from education to environment, my goal is to inspire a lasting impact on the volunteers I’m so fortunate to work with.
I’ll end with a small piece of advice for the current corps. You’ve got about 7 months left of your City Year experience. So dive in. Chant louder at PT, be goofier with your kids at recess, prepare twice as long for that lesson plan, connect deeper with a fellow corps member, and most importantly challenge your thinking in the most positive way possible. I have a feeling you won’t regret it.
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