Wednesday, June 28, 2006

525,600 Minutes

How do you measure a year? I know a group of young people who would say that a year is almost a lifetime. That all those minutes add up to some of the most rewarding and challenging experiences they've ever had.

I attended the graduation ceremony for NY 's City Year Corps. It was on the grounds of Gracie Mansion on the East Side of Manhattan. As you'll see from the photos, it looks like we stepped off the gritty NY streets into the Hamptons.

It was a beautiful, funny and touching. The most poignant moment was when they gave an Idealist of the Year award to this man who helps train and guide all of the City Year members. Well instead of giving a thank you speech to the crowd, he brought his two young children up on stage. One boy and one girl. They looked about 8 and 4 years old, respectively. He turned to them and thanked them for supporting his work with City Year...for being understanding when he came home late at night and was too tired to play. Or when he had to be gone some weekends when they had sports games. He told them that City Year Corps were his heroes and how they help kids who don't go to nice (read:rich) schools like they do. He told his children that he wanted them to be just like the City Year kids when they grew up. The way his children looked up at him and hung on his every word and nodded in the appropriate places was so beautiful. And the way he sincerely spoke to them about why volunteer work is so important...i mean it was way better than any speech could have been.


Piscean Princess said...

YIPEE! My (sort of) patience paid off!

This is fantastic. I got chills reading about the guy's speech to his kids.

Your boys are going to be such loving & generous men one day. It's awesome that you are involving them in these things so young.

So do the kids graduate when they are H.S. Seniors? or are they graduation after putting in a specific amount of service time w/ City Year? (I guess I should probably click the link for all that information.)

Damali said...

yeah i knew you were in agony so it actually motivated to get this entry finished...the Herbie one is in the works too :)

thank you for saying that about my sons. i have such high hopes for them as well.

City Year is for post-HS kids up to the age of 24. they spend 10 months living and working in the program and then graduate at the end of that...some of them love it so much that they sign on for a 2nd year or go on to become adminstrators or coaches for the program.