City Year has been an integral part of my life since I served as a corps member right after graduating from college. At the time, I was not sure what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew I wanted to work with young people. City Year gave me an opportunity to make a difference and along the way helped me realize my potential as a leader and passion to empower others through service. As a member of the City Heroes team, I had the privilege of working with high school students. We recruited high school students to participate in the City Heroes program which focused on three pillars: 1) leadership development 2) social awareness 3) community service. After recruiting close to 100 students for our program, we determined a theme for each month and one weekend a month we orchestrated an overnight retreat and one other weekend we had a service day. Through planning and working with my teammates, I grew and gained skills that have served me well as a guidance counselor.
Today, City Year continues to make a difference in lives across the country and the globe. I am honored to say that I am a City Year Alum, served as Co-Chair of the Boston Alumni Board, Co-Chair of the National Alumni Advisory Board, and I am currently a member of the National Board of Trustees. I have dedicated much of my free time to City Year because I believe in the power of young people to change the world. I believe in the tremendous work that City Year is doing right here in the city I call home, Boston. City Year was born in Boston and partners with the Boston Public Schools now to ensure that more students graduate on time. What better gift to give than the gift of an education to our children.
When I told my dad in his hospital bed that I would be running the Boston Marathon again this year, I had hoped that he would be here to see me cross the finish line. Unfortunately, his life ended on Halloween, but my dream of running for the fifth time did not die that day. This year, I run in memory of my dad. He taught me that, “Anything worth doing is worth doing to the best of my ability”. Each and every freezing day this winter that I have to pull myself out of bed to go for a run, I will think of my dad, who was a warrior and fought as hard as he could. He was a man who has given me the courage to go after my dreams and to serve the people fearlessly and do what is right. I know I will make it up and over Heartbreak Hill with the spirit of my dad pushing me right on over. I run for Dad, who never ran the Boston Marathon, but who believed in me and in the power of young people to change the world.