A photo essay of our Fifth Annual Opening Day Ceremony, narrated by City Year Tulsa AmeriCorps member, Alena Ghany. Photoraphy by the talented Mishya Rai.
On Friday, September 28th, City Year Tulsa's 82 AmeriCorps members and staff kicked off their fifth year serving Tulsa's students, schools and community as they invited family, friends, colleagues and community partners to join them for their Opening Day Ceremony at the Tulsa Central Library in downtown Tulsa.
The hallway was lined with red jackets and our voices echoed off the walls and into the open courtyard. Every AmeriCorps member was fired up to start the morning power greeting our guests who arrived to for our Opening Day Ceremony. Our most engaging chant being ‘hey, it's you. You’re here. That’s great!’
We kept that same energy as each school team burst into the beautiful open space of the library, in what seemed to be their big debut to the community. For us, it was, since Nathan Hale Jr. High is City Year Tulsa’s newest school partnership.
My team entered with power ranger masks in hand – a nod to our school’s mascot, the ranger. We cheered and chanted our team’s “call-back” before taking our seats with our fellow AmeriCorps members.
It was exciting to see each team show such pride for the school they serve. The Will Rogers Jr. High team came in with a real crowd pleaser as they performed a live rope trick to support their school’s mascot, the ropers.
Four of my fellow AmeriCorps members took the stage first. They gave a collaborative speech about standing on the shoulders of giants. I sat there listening to the realness of each of their stories and their unique perspectives, letting the impact of their words sink in.
As I took my pledge of service, I thought about how our young minds are still forming and processing even as we help shape the young minds of our students. And, just as each of us have City Year giants upon whose shoulders we stand to served, we can be those giants for our students with the work we do.
We also had the pleasure of hearing about the history of Tulsa from our city’s Mayor, G.T. Bynum. He emphasized the reality that each of us are living in a historic moment of change for this city. He also acknowledged the awesome work City Year Tulsa has already contributed to Tulsa’s education system.
I know Opening Day is important because it allows our city the opportunity to meet our AmeriCorps members, our staff, and learn and see and hear first-hand why we chose to serve Tulsa this year with City Year.