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PITW #68: Find everyone’s strengths and work with them.

October 25, 2012

By Mahala Miller, Corps Member proudly serving on the Ablemarle Foundation team at Belaire High School

This National Make a Difference Day, as my friend Jullian previously explained on this blog, City Year had the chance to work with O’Brien House and BREC at the I’m a Good Kid Too Festival at Gus Young Park.

The day had two parts: a fun, outdoor fair following an indoor program.  I had the chance to speak as part of the indoor program.  My official title was “Ambassador for Education,” but I basically got to share with about one-hundred-mostly-middle-schoolers why I loved school, why I think it’s important, and how my school experiences growing up led me to join City Year. I serve because I had one teacher in high school that changed my life.  I was bullied a lot in middle school and started to hate school.  My teacher’s support and welcoming classroom helped me get excited and inspired by school again.  She was one person that made a huge impact in my life and gave me the confidence that one person can really make a huge difference.

I always enjoy telling people why I joined City Year. To me, it’s an essential part of my year of service.  Whenever I tell people why I serve I remind myself of why I am doing what I am doing, why I am giving up a year of my life.  I think that makes the work I do every day with students much more powerful and even more meaningful.

Speaking at National Make a Difference Day was also a chance for me to showcase my public speaking skills which I consider one of my strengths.  PITW (Putting Idealism to Work) #68 states that we should “Find everyone’s strengths and work with them.”  I think that this PITW applies not only in an external sense but also an internal sense.  My city year is a chance for me to really find what my strengths are and to develop them.  Working on writing, practicing, and memorizing the speech I presented under the guidance of our great service coordinator Laine Halfacre was great opportunity for personal growth.

Being a part of City Year has already offered so many great opportunities like this one.  At our National Make a Difference Day event I had the chance to speak in front of some awesome middle-schoolers, receive a hug from Mayor-President Kip Holden, and paint an eight-year-old boy’s face like Spiderman.

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