What City Year Columbus is Thankful For

By: Sarai Exil

I’m not going to lie. This is an upsetting world I live in. It’s quite easy to get distracted by the hideous reminders of how hard this world can be, and forget how we are truly blessed. So City Year Columbus was asked what they were thankful for…

My Kids – Brittny Berry

Hannah [Cryer] – Jay Booker

The CSX team, who keep me from losing my mind on a daily basis. I love all of them dearly, and am extremely thankful for them.  – Hannah Cryer

I am thankful for being a part of a great organization that cares about children and equal education. I am thankful for all of the support from family, friends, and corps members! I’m thankful for my baby and I pray that he/she is healthy and happy 🙂 – Averyanna Evans

I am thankful for supportive friends and family. – Patrice Gardner

I am thankful for the breath of life and all that comes with it. – Jackie Gibbs

I am thankful for my health. I’ve been pretty healthy all my life, with no big medical issues or diseases. So, I’m thankful for being healthy. – Elizabeth Hageman

I am thankful for Adobe Photoshop. – Jeffrey League

I am thankful to be alive and living and having a loving family to support me. – Brentlee McCrummen

I’m thankful for life, love, family, friends, and happiness. – Crystal McDonald

I am thankful for the support system I have in my life. Without it I do not know how I would get through everything. – Molly O’Brien

I am thankful for having such a wonderful support system. I couldn’t ask for better friends and family! – Christine Olding

I’m thankful for the continuous support of the entire Columbus City Year corps and staff. Each and every one of you has made me feel loved at LEAST once during these last few months and I can’t tell you all how thankful I am for that support. Thanks for being my source of encouragement, love and a bajillion great memories, but most importantly thanks for being my family in a new place 🙂  – Melissa Santiago


My Family! – Kyle Sims

I am thankful for the support of my family in anything I do….and the Buffalo Bills/Sabres. – Micheal Slepian

I’m thankful for every blessing and opportunity in my life. – Nicole Smith

Ten fingers and ten toes – Steven Solomon

I am thankful for my God, health, life, family, my dog (Snupe), the small group of people in my life called “real friends,” the trials in my life. Last, but not least, I’m thankful for my City Year team, staff, site, and community in which I serve. – Roosevelt Williams

I’m thankful to all the people who make my service less stressful and more rewarding, especially Cristin Bryant, who has been a stupendous guide for me this year (and just a great human being in general). I’m thankful to the Corps, who make my day every Friday, and who find a way to serve in spite of seemingly countless obstacles. I’m thankful to Kevin Bilapka, obviously. I’m thankful to my wonderful parents, who showed up out of the blue and saved my life a couple of weekends ago. And I’m thankful to Jeff and Mike… kind of. – Jack Wolfe

And lastly, I’m thankful for this opportunity I’ve been given to serve with people from all walks of life, because honestly, I need that challenge each day. I’m thankful that each and every one of us make up a Corps whose skills line up on a very intricate spectrum creating a perfect replication of a Lakansyèl. 

So readers, what are you thankful for?


The Roots

By: Jackie Gibbs

Red jackets flared left and right with all of the hustle and bustle of the corps as we excitedly prepared the Hamilton Elementary Gym for Parents, Friends, and Family Night (PFF). Anticipation had built up inside of me as I waited almost impatiently for my family to arrive. Naturally, I got “the call” from my mom saying that they were going to be running late, however, my anxiety was regenerated with joy as soon as my mom and “the babies” (my siblings) came pouring through the doors and into my arms.

Since becoming apart of City Year, I’ve been immersed in my new devotion of serving along with the responsibilities of living everyday life and I haven’t been able to really share with my family what exactly it is that I’m doing with City Year. Because I dedicated my red bomber to my family, it was both important and meaningful for me to educate them on the service I am doing by having them present. PFF night gave me the opportunity to “show and tell” my new fidelity.

We opened with unity rally and for my family, as well as the other families, I’m sure in all, the uniform, the chants, and the ray of energy was quite an eye opener to a “new culture”. I remember looking into the crowd at my family, gesturing them to join in, and laughing at the awkward faces they gave me in return, because that’s exactly how I must have looked when I saw City Year demonstrate unity rally for the first time. Though strange as it may be, it shows the unity between us.

Having always had an interest in art, there were always crafts around the house while I was growing up. During college I achieved an art minor in which I explored various techniques of art such as sculpturing, drawing, painting, and ceramics. Since I began serving with City Year, I’ve assisted with painting murals and facilitating craft activities during after school. I was thrilled to be a part of designing the programs for PFF night and felt accomplishment in having the ability to share things I love to do, that I’ve learned in home and in school, with City Year. Having my family recognize this was even more rewarding.

It begins in the home, develops in school, and continues with City Year: The idea that the things each individual learns at home and in school contribute to our individuality as well as our development and desire to give back to the community.

And it’s true. Growing and learning as a child I saw numerous ways that others in our community helped my family in times of need. Whether it was lending my mom a hand with us kids, providing us with grocery gift cards, or helping out with the gifts around Christmas time, it was the generosity of the people in our community that made a better childhood experience possible. Those who helped my family out during my childhood founded the stepping-stones of community in my life, which I gladly continue to build by choosing to give a year with City Year.