be_ixf;ym_202402 d_23; ct_50 YES! I want to make a difference TODAY!

#WhyIStillServe with City Year LA – Kimberly Renderos

There is no going back to who you were after experiencing the impact of a service year with City Year. Sometimes, the impact is so strong that our AmeriCorps members decide to return to serve for a second or third year. This year, we saw the highest number of AmeriCorps members who signed up to serve for another year. Kimberly Renderos, an AmeriCorps member serving at Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School, shares a little bit about why she decided to serve for a third year.  

What inspired you to serve with City Year?  

KIM: I had just graduated college and I wanted to find something to do before I applied to law school. I wanted to find either a non-profit organization or somewhere where you give back to the community. When I found City Year, I learned that I would be working in education, with the schools that were near where I live. I was excited that I would be providing support to students who have a similar background to me.   

What made you return to serve a second year?  

KIM: In addition to the reasons I mentioned previously, I also wanted to follow my students to the next year to continue providing support for them, which was 5th grade, and I got to see them culminate.  

Also, after seeing the impact that our after-school program had on students who don’t have support; it was important for me to return and be someone the students can trust. 

Why do you think programs like City Year are valuable?  

KIM: I think they’re valuable because students sometimes don’t have social-emotional support in schools. In my first two years with City Year, and even this year, I learned that students significantly value someone simply being kind and asking about their day. I realized this when, towards the end of the school year, two of my students told me that they appreciated that I was there when they needed someone to talk to. Hearing this from my students allowed me to understand that something that may seem simple, like listening to someone, actually has a lot of significance and means a lot to them and to people everywhere. 

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