|National Service Scholar Daniel Do|
1) Where and what will you be studying? Why did you decide to choose that major?
2) How has your experience at City Year impacted your decisions after? Can you pinpoint new skills or abilities you can attribute to the City Year experience?
City Year definitely influenced my decisions not only to go forward with my social work program but the direction I want to take within the field. My students have opened my eyes to the challenges that urban youth face, and also to their resiliency and what that one extra adult can really do for them. They are the reason why I am attending BU for their focus on urban social work and why I am doing my field placement at an at-risk urban elementary school in Boston in the fall! Thanks to my City Year experience my eyes were opened to a new population and the potential of that group. I’ve also gained a better appreciation for my access to education and want to help increase that access to urban youth.
Thanks to my year of service, I have a much better idea of how I want to apply my degree which is to work in an urban setting as a school therapist and trying to connect resources to that community. Eventually I will use my degrees to open up a community center that focuses on serving as a safe place for teens to go to after school with an interdisciplinary offering of resources.
City Year represents not only the growth of the students I served but also the personal growth I experienced this year. I had the great opportunity to serve on the planning committee for City Year Seattle/King County’s first Youth Summit, funded by a grant we won. I helped recruit over 50 students across three different middle schools for an overnight off-site retreat. Students from two of the schools were known to get into fights and verbal arguments because of their rivalry, so we were a bit apprehensive about possible altercations. However, I could not have been happier. These students all worked together to cut down a massive blackberry bush the size of a few elephants! They actively participated in their leadership tracks of human rights, environmentalism, and personal health. They learned about themselves and made new friends. Honestly, I was truly amazed with how wonderfully my students behaved and I love the fact that I was able to spend that extra time with them before we ended our year of service.
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