Welcome to Basic Training Academy, where the days are long and the Starbucks line is longer. Don’t let the hours distract you from your experience. During BTA, City Year AmeriCorps members engage in training sessions that will prepare them for the classroom. This time is also used for Corps members to gain a better understanding of City Year’s culture, values and service model. As a Corps Member who has been through it before, I offer you these tips to make the most of your BTA experience:

Have an open mind and an open heart.
People are coming from all over the nation with different backgrounds, religions, and cultures. Take it in, experience something other than yourself while remaining judgment free.

Stay engaged.
Participate in sessions and go to activities that are offered outside of the regular schedule. Make the best out of the beginning of your journey.

Get squishy.
Your bubble is warm, safe, and comfortable. Try to get out of it. There are going to be times when you’re encouraged to do something that you don’t want to. You might think it’s strange, uncool, or frightening, but push yourself. If you’re terrified of public speaking, you’ve come to the right place to face your fears.

Meet new people.
There are 205 corps members, find your “city mate”. Few people walk away from City Year without finding someone they can connect with.

Extend your City Year network.
Somebody knows somebody that knows somebody that does exactly what you want to do. Don’t just talk to people in uniform. The staff doesn’t bite, unless you put cheesesteaks in front of them.

Make time for yourself.
You’re going to be around hundreds of people for most of your day. Draw, write, sing, or dance; make time to do what you love.

Get some rest.
​You’ll need it.

Last, but certainly not least...
Starbucks is located on 34th and  Chestnut.

Written by Star Taylor, ’15,’16 City Year Philadelphia AmeriCorps Member

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