2017-01-27

In December 2016, City Year Seattle’s Alumni Board launched the Shoulders of Giants Alumni Giving Club. For just $10 each month, alumni are powering the service of City Year’s corps. In addition to supporting this worthy cause, Shoulders of Giants provides an avenue for alumni to reconnect and receive exclusive benefits.


As an AmeriCorps member, we were constantly sharing our experiences with our team and roommates. Our Team Leaders and Program Managers would share stories from their service years, and with graduation impending, we were asked to narrate the skills we were learning on a consistent basis. As an alum, it can be easy to forget that shared experience. City Year Seattle alumni board member, Margo Kelly, recently caught up with fellow City Year Seattle alumnus, Sam Boutelle, and was reminded of the beauty of their shared connection to service.

One of our founding “Giants” - Sam Boutelle (CYSKC ‘13) - shared a bit about what he’s been up to these past couple of years.

Where are you at now? What skills from your City Year do you use?

I've spent that better parts of the last two years leading, serving, and getting filthy in the woods and wild places of Oregon, Washington, and Northern California with Northwest Youth Corps. Like City Year, youth empowerment is at the heart of Northwest Youth Corps' mission; unlike City Year, we do so through conservation service and educational programs in the middle of national parks and national forests throughout the Pacific Northwest. I use hard-learned lessons from my service with CYSKC on a daily basis and have shared CY tools from Wah! to comfort zone/challenge zone with my fellow leaders and our teen and young adult participants.

Why do you still choose to be part of the City Year community?

While I don't get to be in Seattle as much as I would like, reconnecting with friends and allies in the City Year community is always one of the highlights of my times in town. This year, I joined CY Milwaukee in their day of service at Rufus King International Middle School. I couldn't have asked for a better introduction to another corps or a better reminder of why I love City Year and the people who are inspired to join it and serve their broader community.

What inspired you to become a “Giant?”

There are a lot of organizations that want and need donations, and City Year isn't the only one I support. That said, I appreciate that as a “Giant” I know from personal experience what I am contributing to each  month. It's not always easy for any of us to part with money, but I know that my donations today are investing in the communities, people, and purpose that were worth a year of my life in 2012-13.

What’s your life motto?!

Listen, Learn, Engage, Repeat.

Sam, thank you for sharing your story with me and our alumni community! For our other alumni out there, join Sam and become a member of the Shoulders of Giants Alumni Giving Club!


Blog post authored by: Margo Kelly (CKSKC ‘12-14), City Year Seattle Alumni Development Chair & Founding Shoulders of Giants member

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