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An Interview with PA State Representative Jordan Harris, City Year Champion

City Year Philadelphia Executive Director Darryl Bundrige (left) and PA State Representative Jordan Harris (right) show off their iconic red jackets.

 

Back in April, our Executive Director Darryl Bundrige presented Representative Jordan Harris with the famous City Year red jacket in recognition of his longstanding support of City Year Philadelphia (CYP) and championing education equity.

As a lifelong Philadelphian, Rep. Harris has been connected to City Year Philly for many years, both personally and professionally. Growing up in South Philadelphia, Harris attended a former CYP partner school (now the location of George W. Childs School). He recalled watching CYP AmeriCorps members walk the halls of the school building in their red jackets, and eventually came to learn more about the organization’s work in supporting and mentoring students. During his time as a state representative, Harris has presented citations on the House Floor in Harrisburg recognizing City Year’s achievements. As another City Year connection, Harris is also a close colleague of Philadelphia City Councilmember (and former State Representative) Kenyatta Johnson, who was a founding CYP staff member.

In a conversation with Bundrige, Rep. Harris reflected on the importance of supporting students’ school and life trajectories, and City Year’s invaluable role in creating more opportunities for young people to engage in social activism within their communities. He additionally offered an enthusiastic congratulations to our recently graduated 2020-21 Corps members, and advice to those who follow.

“Oftentimes, we believe that having an impact has to be these major moments. And the truth is, they’re not. When you think back to your childhood, it’s the small moments that, added together, make a significant impact. […] For a Corps member, that young person you spent time with because they were having trouble with reading or mathematics. When you add up all of those moments, they are actually major events in many our young people’s lives.”

Watch the full conversation below. Be sure to stay tuned to the very end to see the moment when Harris is surprised by receiving his very own red jacket! His genuine excitement is a powerful reminder of what the City Year jacket represents for thousands of individuals across the country.

 

Are you considering a year of service, or do you know someone who is? City Year Philly is still accepting applications for the 2021-22 service year! Learn more and submit your application by the beginning of August at cityyear.org/apply-now.

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