By Mary DuBard, AmeriCorps member, Comcast NBC Universal Team
Serving at Bakersville Elementary School

Hello! My name is Mary DuBard, and I’m a recent high school graduate from the small town of Florence, South Carolina. I have to admit, I applied to City Year expecting it to be an average gap year program before attending college. However, it has become so much more than that. I arrived in August with almost no knowledge of City Year’s culture or mission. All I knew for certain was that I would be working with students in schools. During the first few weeks of my service I was challenged by the culture. From callbacks to Physical Training, I definitely had a hard time adjusting. Although, keeping an open mind, City Year slowly won me over, and my skepticism changed to idealism.

One part of City Year that I’ve really come to enjoy is Power Greeting. In the picture above, you can see me welcoming guests with several other AmeriCorps members at our Opening Day ceremony. To me, power greeting is a way to get everyone excited and ready for the day, whether they’re going to school or attending a City Year event. We don’t power greet at my school, but I make sure to high five the students to ensure they are excited to be at school each morning. I remember what it was like when my brothers and I were not excited to go to school, so I know that City Year greeting the students as they enter the school can make a big difference. So even if some Friday mornings I don’t feel like doing PT, I know that I’ve made the right choice to serve with City Year. I have adapted and come to love where I am this year.

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