Like most people under the age of 50, I grew up reading Dr. Seuss books. His clever rhymes made learning to read more entertaining, and his crazy, colorful illustrations fueled my imagination. As an AmeriCorps Member, I also enjoy introducing his stories to the next generation. In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, I would like to share my personal favorite quote from the Doc, and explain why it carries such a powerful message to everyone who reads it.

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

I know this quote may be one of Seuss’ most famous, and you’ve probably heard it a million times, but I’m here to tell you there is a reason for that. Passion and Heart are the two main catalysts for bringing about change in this world. If you care, you can make a difference. It may seem like such a simple idea, but the execution in real life has brought about significant change time and time again for all sorts of people.

To put it in City Year terms, Seuss is stating a call to action greater than self. The time and patience that is required of us to help the children we work with become better students and community members is very demanding. Nevertheless, we show up every morning at 7:45 with our red jackets and smiles on our faces, because we care a whole awful lot about the lives of the students we work with. Taking initiative and confronting issues like the dropout crisis, I can only stand to help. I am proud to serve alongside a corps of diverse people that share the same passion for bringing about change and social justice.

Leave it up to the guy in the red and white striped hat to drop a wisdom bomb like that in a picture book... Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss, I know you would be proud of all the work we are doing as a beloved City Year community.

Written by City Year Philadelphia AmeriCorps Member, Zane Brown, serving at James G. Blaine Elementary School. The work of Zane and his team is made possible by Program Sponsor, EY. 

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