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Corps Member Monday: 25 Years.

December 16, 2013

by Noel Thompson, corps member proudly serving on the New Schools for Baton Rouge Entergy Louisiana Team at Broadmoor Middle School

City Year morphs from a fledgling idea in the brain of a few concerned citizens to a national movement that depends on the social benevolence of youth.

City Year becomes a powerful player in not only community development and organization, but also in the field of education. City Year creates an experiment by giving the youth they hope to train as leaders classrooms. These leaders will produce leaders. Those leaders will further produce leaders. Social Justice is not merely a concept spoken in rhetoric by professors but becomes a tangible battle. It is a calling for those who have the energy and zeal to wake up every day and attempt to seek equity and meaning with their lives.

Education is an actor on stage of the second act of an Ibsen play where the truth has been revealed, and it has been found wanting.

City Year is 25. We are all called upon to make change in different ways, and the weight of our social cognizance manifests differently from member to member, but the simultaneous pain and desire is present in all of us.

25th anniversary


We are the change agents. We are the mobile army of educators, peers, mentors, role-models, friends, and idealists called upon to create the change that we believe in.


change agent

Today I turn 23. I’ve been spending a lot of time in retrospect recently, and I’ve been trying to pinpoint which birthday brought an end to my idyll peace when I felt the realization of disparity. Some point in those 23 years, who or what said the certain string of words to me or demonstrated what act that brought me to spend a year of my life in Baton Rouge? 23 years of instruction and subtle societal teaching by my parents and mentors have led me to believe that this is the only choice that I would’ve made with this year. I think that’s what we’re here to do with our students. I’m here to teach them to be a socially responsible and respectful humanist.



I understand that the specifics are generally lost and not so transparent when I sit with these students and reexamine the Pythagorean Theorem for the 3rd time, but at the end of my year of service, that’s what it is. I’m here to listen to them. To talk to them. To be the concerned individual for the world. I’m here to speak to a world that shows concern at the tragedy of meaninglessness.

I pledge for my 23rd year of life to make 1 year of my life devoted solely to this. And while manifesting your desire for action in 8th graders may be unattainable or lack specifics, I refuse to not try.

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