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How City Year San Antonio (CYSA) Sets Corps Members Up for Success

After my December graduation from Northern Michigan University, I made the cross-country move to San Antonio to serve. Apprehensive about moving, a new city and new job, I was so glad to take the plunge. Being a newbie to the City Year family,  I was not quite sure what I was getting into, how much time and work went into being an Americorps Member, or how much I would love the kids I serve. City Year has been a rewarding and life changing experience.

Outside of in-school service, we often have Leadership Development Days (LDD’s). These day-long events are wildly diverse in topic, ranging from the Race and Equity Summit to team building events like Corps Olympics. Shelby Drayton, an exceptional Impact Director at CYSA, orchestrated the LDD 18-Minute Networking session, bringing in numerous diverse professionals from the greater San Antonio area who work in a multitude of industries. After a survey was reviewed accessing the interests of Corps Members, Shelby and staff paired us with three different sessions. This Leadership Development Day truly showcased  the unconditional support and endless resources CYSA provides for their service members.

Receiving my top three choices, I was placed in Education, Graduate Studies and Government. In the Graduate Studies session,  I spoke with a CYSA Alum, Katie. After City Year, she needed more time to contemplate graduate school and enlisted in the College Advising Corps. This peaked my interest since I previously worked in admissions at my alma mater. Our conversation was not only informational but eased my fears about life after City Year. There are more opportunities that come out of this program including the support of CYSA alums.

Going into my next session, Government,  I didn’t know what to expect. One of the facilitators was James Costey, a professional services consultant who explained the various types of public affairs positions available within the government. He shared his experiences and benefits of working as a civilian within the government. One of his jobs was reviewing resumes for graduates, veterans and civilians who were interested in these types of jobs. In the session we exchanged business cards to continue our conversation. I never knew opportunities in public affairs (that were so closely related to my degree) were right here in San Antonio.

In a “regular” job, there might be animosity when an employee searches for another job. It is sometimes considered secretive or shady. City Year, however, sets aside time from our daily service to provide the Corps with formal Leadership Development Days and constant updates on other opportunities after our service year. In conclusion, I believe service with City Year really pays off.

This post was written by first-year AmeriCorps member, Sarah Schollmeyer, who serves at Carvajal Elementary and will be returning as a Team Leader for the 2020-19 school year. 

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