I did two years of Americorps in New York, specifically a program called City Year. City Year is a full-time volunteer program for 17 to 24-year-old and was one of the best experiences of my life. One of those life changing moments. We serve in urban areas, focusing on literacy, community service, and civic leadership.

Through out the year we went beyond helping in the classroom and sought to beautify the neighborhood whether the school yards, public gardens or public playgrounds. Our corporate sponsors would volunteer their day to come out and help us and the community. The best part was seeing the community members themselves come out for the day and give back to their own neighborhood.

I had the awesome opportunity to serve in the same neighborhood that Ezra Keats grew up in. This inspired me to celebrate this public figure on the new murals we were painting at one of the schools we served in.  Though initially afraid of drawing on such large walls, I realized it wasn’t so bad and enjoyed being able to be one of the artists for City Year in my two years of service.

You can never get enough green in urban neighborhoods, so I opted for celebrating nature in this mural that took on a personal note once I integrated the current serving members as well as myself into the picture. They loved it and the students loved pointing out their teachers. Something to remember us by ❤


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