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What’s in a City Year experience?

headshot of Ariana Farris When I joined City Year in the summer of 2019 I was not sure what the experience would be like. I had applied, in part out of desperation to find something more fulfilling than the work I was doing before. I was drawn to City Year’s mission and values but I didn’t yet fully understand what I had signed up for. That uncertainty did not last long though. From the moment I met the corps on orientation day, I knew that I had come to a place where I could belong. My time with City Year has simultaneously been the hardest and most rewarding year of my life. The long exhausting days have been balanced by the hundreds of moments that reminded me why I was there. When a student would call me over just so that they could show me the work they’d done. When a math strategy I’d been helping them learn really clicked or they stood up in class to suggest an answer about the article we read that day. Most of all though, it was the times when a student would trust me enough to come and ask me for help. 

Then suddenly it was application season and I knew that I wasn’t ready for this year to be over. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the family I have found in City Year Sacramento. I’d come to City Year planning just to be here for one year, but it wasn’t enough. As a part of City Year, I have found the meaningful work I hoped for and I have found a corps full of passionate, dedicated, supportive people who care deeply about each other and the students we serve. I have had so many opportunities to learn and grow alongside my fellow corps members. Despite the unexpected challenges this year has brought I am more convinced than ever that the work I am a part of at City Year is important. I know that next year will be hard but I am excited and hopeful because as I look at the people I will be serving with next year I also know that City Year will be there to help each other and all the students we can reach. If I have one wish right now it is that I “hope the journey will be a long one,/ full of adventure, full of learning” because I’m not ready for it to be over. (Quote by CP Cavafy, translated by David Connolly) 

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