#UDIntern: Give a Year, Change the World

BY:MACKENZIE HORAN

Two and a half years ago, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do after graduation, but I did know that I had a deep passion for helping others and loved working with children. My sophomore year this all changed when I decided on whim to attend an info session for City Year.

City Year is a nonprofit dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members serve full-time in high-poverty urban schools, providing high-impact student, classroom, and school-wide support to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success.

Hearing the Campus Recruitment Ambassador (CRA), describe the work that City Year AmeriCorps members do and the impact that this work has on the communities in which they serve left me captivated. As I went home and did more research, I continued to fall in love with this organization. Serving with City Year after graduation quickly became my goal. However, this was still two years away, and I wanted to get involved with City Year anyway that I could in the meantime.

The best way to get involved with City Year on campus is through the Campus Recruitment Ambassador position. The CRA, as we call it, is a student that helps the regional recruitment manager, my awesome boss Dawn, promote City Year on campus. After applying and having a Skype interview with Dawn, I landed the position for my senior year. Which leads me to where I am now!

As a CRA, I help market City Year to UD students to raise brand awareness and to get people excited about City Year. I do this by partnering with departments and professors as well as RSOs and other organizations on campus. I love my job because of how different it is each week! Sometimes I am working an event like the Spring Career Fair with Dawn, or networking with students at an Honors Networking Night. Other days I present to classes and briefly answer questions about City Year or talk at RSO’s meetings. I also hold information sessions for City Year. This is one of my favorite parts because of the immense impact a single info. session and a past CRA had on me. I also love meeting with students 1:1 to talk about City Year and answer questions about the application process, what drew me to City Year, and what benefits students like myself could get out of a year of service. I will be serving with City Year New York next fall and could not be more excited!

The CRA position has taught me tangible skills in professional communication as well as marketing. Not only has it allowed me to share my enthusiasm and passion for City Year with my fellow Blue Hen peers, but it has also been a great learning experience for me as a professional. My days as a CRA are dwindling as we approach graduation in May. However, I am extremely excited to help recruit a new CRA for next year at UD. If you are interested in this position, you can email Dawn Lastowka (dlastowka@cityyear.org) for more information about how to apply!

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Mackenzie Horan is a senior studying International Relations and Public Policy. She is excited to be serving with City Year New York next year and is reachable at mhoran@udel.edu.

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