Authored by Virginia Phelps, AmeriCorps member at Roxhill Elementary School

From left: Kim Vu from Bank of American facilitates a social media training; Virginia (left) practices her interviewing skills; Theresita Richard from Starbucks leads a networking training.

City Year loves acronyms, and LACY is a personal favorite. LACY stands for “Leadership After City Year.” Each AmeriCorps Member works on their individual “LACY Plan” throughout the service year, and their LACY plans range from attending college, to traveling, to starting a career. The values and skills we learn in City Year are definitely applicable after City Year. Idealism, hard work, and perseverance are just a few things I’ve gained from my service, and I know they’re going to be invaluable to me in the future. However, I definitely know that I need to work on some of the professional skills I’ll need to transition from City Year to college next year and, eventually, a career. I’m not the only one who is uncertain about the mechanics of moving on, but all of us have some sort of dream that we are trying to achieve.

To support AmeriCorps members in our LACY journey, City Year Seattle hosted their first ever LACY kickoff day where more than fifty community members from the private, public, and non-profit sectors came to help AmeriCorps members with their professional skills. It turned out that LACY Kickoff Day had something for everyone.

The day started out with an inspiring talk from John Phillips of Starbucks about being honest and authentic when you tell your story. Then Theresita Richard, also from Starbucks, gave an energizing presentation about networking. My main takeaway was that it’s okay that I don’t have years of experience or a resume a mile long; if I’m honest about myself, I am ready and willing to share and learn, and I make genuine connections with people, I’ll do just fine. It turns out networking isn’t really that scary! We also had a social media training by Kim Vu from Bank of America, who talked about how to use social media as a professional tool.

The day also included an interviewing training and two choice blocks where we got to pick which session to attend. The choice sessions were led by community members, and included topics such as resume revision, interview coaching, and panels on leadership and finding your career path. My main takeaway was that if I want to be taken seriously, I should ALWAYS have a question for the interviewer.

LACY Kickoff Day was a great and practical experience for me. I learned skills, gained confidence, and talked with a lot of interesting people. However, another big thing I took away from the day was a sense of support. One of City Year’s core values is Belief in the Power of Young People. The students we serve are young people, but so are we.

City Year believes in the power of AmeriCorps members as much as we believe in the power of students. The City Year Seattle staff put in so much work and did quite a bit of networking themselves to make LACY Kickoff Day happen for us. At the beginning of the day, our Executive Director, Kyle Angelo, pointed out that we spend about ten hours a day thinking about other people, so they wanted to give us a day to think about ourselves. I really appreciate the effort that City Year staff put in to take care of AmeriCorps members. Not only are they teaching us skills that will be useful in our education and careers, they are also trying to help us bridge the gap between our year of service and our future endeavors. 

Check out photos from LACY Kickoff Day on City Year Seattle's Facebook page

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