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Alumni Spotlight: Obie McNair

January 29, 2014

Alumni Profile

Name: Obie McNair obie
Current Position: First Year Master’s  Student in Public Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Where I Served: City Year Baton Rouge, Belaire High School 2012-2013


Why did you join City Year?  After graduating from college, I didn’t have a next step for my life. Since I wasn’t going to graduate school right away, I knew that I wanted to make sure that whatever I got into, it was something that was going to be meaningful and make a difference in a person’s life. After receiving a few emails from City Year New Hampshire (Jim Hood I want to say), I looked into it and realized that I would love the opportunity to work with students. City Year was a perfect fit.

What is your favorite thing about your current role and how has serving with CYBR contributed to it? At my graduate school, there are many opportunities to get involved, and take the lead on projects.This semester, I have been given the opportunity to work on the Communications committee for the 35th Annual Minority Health Conference. I can honestly say that one of the best things that have helped our committee out is a Q2Q!!! When I created one, my teammates were like “Ooh, what is this?” When I told them about it, they decided to apply it and I must say it keeps us streamlined and makes our meetings much more efficient.

If you were a City Year uniform piece, what would you be and why? Definitely the City Year Bomber. It is both practical and its fly, just like me!

Do you have any advice for corps members? When you think you aren’t making a difference at your school, keep at it. It may take a little time, but even the most stubborn children come around and want your help. And I guarantee you they will be hooked for the remainder of the semester.

What was the most valuable lesson you learned during your time at City Year? My experience at City Year has been very similar to my first semester in graduate school. There is always something that needs to be finished. If you are not careful, it is very easy to get caught up in the day to day tasks and very quickly you will become overwhelmed. But if there was one thing I remember there was this PITW:

PITW #174 (BING!!!) Seek balance in life.
Living a life of commitment and service can be very hard. Quite literally, we take on the problems of the world. In order to be effective and to set a good example to others, we should seek to maintain balance in our lives. This doesn’t mean we don’t or can’t often work long hours or weekends, especially during heavy seasons in the campaign of idealism. But it does mean that you should not neglect your friends, family, relationships, health, or other personal areas of life. We should all also take time to relax, rejuvenate, and recapture our perspective and energy.


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