It's graduation season, and among the many milestones reached from coast-to-coast is the completion of a year of service by more than 2,000 City Year corps members. Serving full-time in high poverty schools in 21 cities, corps members help to keep students in school and on track to graduation. Comcast sponsors teams in eight City Year communities, and in the fall will add a ninth in Manchester, N.H.; a 10th in Jacksonville, Fla.; and an 11th, led by NBCUniversal, in nearby Orlando.
Below are the reflections of Philadelphia corps member Sara Morningstar, 23, who served on a Comcast-sponsored team and graduated June 7.
I've often heard alumni say, "To really understand City Year, you have to give a City Year." This couldn't be truer for me after having graduated last week with an enormous body of new experiences, achievements, friendships, lessons and memories. Our days were always unique — tutoring students as they struggled and grew, building new relationships with parents, teachers and community members and advocating for our students and communities.
There's a lot of competition among City Year teams — who hosts the best community meeting, who throws the best school-wide events, and who has the best team sponsor, to name a few. It didn't take long for us to realize that Comcast was fully invested in being City Year's most engaged sponsor.
I had so many wonderful experiences with Comcast, but a few highlights definitely stick out. On April 21st, Comcast sent several hundred volunteers to our partner, Frankford High School, for the 11th Comcast Cares Day. Volunteers transformed Frankford's drab halls into beautiful, positive spaces with murals. Students and community members joined the Comcast volunteers to paint that Saturday, and the student body was amazed the next Monday when they saw the transformation. You could see the pride in the students' faces.
As a special treat, Comcast also arranged for our team to visit the Wells Fargo Center for a Sixers game. We had some great teambuilding before the game when we had the unique opportunity to play several games of basketball on the floor of the stadium! We even had a surprise referee — Art Block, Comcast's Senior Vice President and General Counsel, our Board Co-Chair and City Year's Idealist of the Year.
Their investment in us was meaningful. In the spring, Comcast hosted 90 corps members in their headquarters, including my team and many others, for a Career Development Day. It included mock interviews, resume editing, networking and professional skill-building. They thoughtfully prepared us to compete for jobs after graduation from our service year.
We couldn't ask for a more devoted sponsor — thank you, Comcast!