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Life after City Year with Kristy

I applied for City Year senior year of college, knowing that I eventually wanted to go to graduate school to study education policy but that I needed a break from academia. It was important to me to do something meaningful with my time in the interim, so I was ecstatic when I received my acceptance for City Year Sacramento. I expected my City Year experience to grow my tutoring and mentoring skills and let me spend time with kids, but I did not realize how much my service would help me grow professionally (or that I would stick around and serve a second year as a team leader). As I prepared my resume to apply for jobs in Washington, D.C., it was clear I was leaving City Year with more than just tutoring skills. I was able to highlight other parts of my service such as using Salesforce, writing my team’s weekly newsletter, and facilitating team and site trainings. I was also able to list staff as references on my job applications, knowing they could speak to my passion and work ethic.

Seemingly now more than ever, employers are looking for people who fit their team’s culture, which often means being a team player and having a “can-do attitude,” both qualities that are developed during a service year (or two, or three). Over the past year, I have been working as assistant director of alumni outreach at American University in D.C. and earning my M.Ed. in Education Policy and Leadership online part-time. Though I was sure I would forget them all, I am regularly reminded of City Year’s PITWs in my work, particularly “Be a clock builder, not a time teller,” “Create your own environment for success,” and “I’m ready, choose me.” In other words: no matter how long you stay at a job, leave every position better than you found it, with new, more efficient systems in place; make your job work for you by constantly seeking ways to grow your skills; and be the person who raises their hand first to lead a new initiative, people will notice. This month, I graduated from my M.Ed. program. As I think about what is next for me both personally and professionally, I carry with me City Year’s values, which keep me grounded and focused on my personal mission: Ensure every child has access to a quality, free education regardless of race, income, or zip code.

To get connected with Kristy you may send her a message here.

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