January 16, 2010

The Grand Finale

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Jan. 17, 2010

To finish off my internship, I assisted Diana Vining, the Recruitment Outreach Manager, with a college recruitment event held in the office on West 22nd St. Ten students from colleges ranging from Yeshiva University to the University of Memphis came to see a short presentation about City Year as well as visit an inner-city City Year school and observe the day-to-day of a corps member.

To start the day, I began a power point presentation about the City Year program and its goals to the audience of students. It’s funny how a mere two weeks ago, I was given the same presentation and now I’m on the other end.

Diana picked up with the presentation halfway through, going into detail about the high school drop out crisis. “Why should certain students receive a better education than other?” she questioned. “We can’t achieve success with having audacious goals.”

City Year doesn’t just have lofty goals, but also has the coalition to make those goals a reality. Diana spoke about the fact that during the 2008 Presidential campaign, both Obama and McCain pledged to increase the amount of participation in service groups in America.

In 2009, Barack Obama passed the Edward M. Kennedy National Service Act that vows to “help create new opportunities for millions of Americans at all stages of their lives.” The act allows for three times the amount of volunteers in service organizations in the next eight years. Also, the bill increases the City Year education grant from $4,725 to $5,350 after one year of service.

After the presentation, Itai Dinour, the executive director, came to greet everyone. The group also got to talk to the head of admissions at City Year, as well as a consultant with the company, about what can be done after a corps year. It was interesting to hear the stats about City Year alumni: 71 percent vote, while fewer than half of their peers do. Also, alumni are 65 percent more engaged in volunteer activities.

The second half of the day was devoted to site visits. I took one of the members to a school in Long Island City. It was quite a trip from the middle of Manhattan.

The past two weeks has been a stimulating and rewarding experience. I am glad I was able to share my experiences with you so you can get a better idea of what an internship is like, as well as learn more about the incredible City Year opportunities that are available.

Thanks for reading!

Original Author: Samantha Padilla