November 26, 2001
Cedarcrest grad enters City Year program
Note: Cedarcrest graduate Nicole Canady has begun a City Year program in Seattle. Canady describes City Year as a "domestic Peace Corps." City Year, which began in 1988, was the brainchild of two young men from Boston who saw the need for a domestic service group. As an organization, City Year is based on idealism and the concept of the Beloved Community that Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of ‹ we are charged with the responsibility of celebrating the people, ideas and cultures around us, serving with open hearts and open minds. City Year participants build housing with Habitat for Humanity, tutor children in schools, run after-school and service learning programs, clear green spaces and implement programming for troubled youth. The following is Canady's report.
Before now, the most important time of my life was when I graduated from Cedarcrest High School. But like I said, that was before now.
Life has been hectic, to say the least, for me since Aug. 31. On that day I started "Basic Training Academy" for City Year Seattle/King County. For one month I filled out paperwork, listened to lectures, watched PowerPoint presentations, exercised, warmed -up, debriefed, and formed relationships with 55 people from all over the nation. I did all this so I could do community service for a year ... crazy, huh! Maybe, but it's worth it.
I don't get paid, I get a living stipend, and I don't work, I serve my community. My team and I have been sent to serve in Washington Middle School in the Central District in Seattle. We tutor children for five classes a day, and after school we run a dance program (Arts in Motion) , a service learning program (Young Heroes), and assist with an after school homework club. Though this type of service may seem unappealing to some people, I plan to make my living as a teacher ‹ I LOVE THIS!
City Year has offered me a way to meet people I never would have met and do things I never dreamed of doing, while at the same time allow me to make a difference in a community. This June, before I graduate from City Year and receive my Educational Award, I am going to Philadelphia for a celebration in which all 13 City Year sites come together to celebrate a year of service. June is a long time to wait for a celebration, but in the last couple of months I have learned to celebrate each day, and I encourage you to do the same.