This past Friday, November 11th, City Year Sacramento held its jacket dedication ceremony. During this celebrations corps members have the opportunity to contemplate and share the many reasons that may have lead them to their service. Reflecting on the all the people, ideas and places that have influenced my own service there was only one group of people that I could think to dedicate my jacket to this year.
Last year I dedicated my jacket to all the people that helped me obtain my Bachelor’s degree: my family. My jacket was for all of the times someone helped me through the late nights, navigate a financial nightmare, and celebrate those academic victories. My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, all of whom were not able to reach a higher education themselves, invested so much in my well-being and success that I needed to return and do that same for others. My first jacket was a thank you to all those that came before me, my second jacket will be a thank you to those to come.
This year I dedicate my jacket to my siblings, who to me represent the very children we serve. They are young people of color attempting to navigate and survive an education system not designed for them. They are the children of immigrants from whom very little is expected. They are the unforeseen products of a low-income community to whom very little is given. They are students from low scoring and under resourced schools, but with all the desire to succeed. I put on my yellow jacket every day as a commitment to that success.