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Hassain Choudhury, City Year London, 2010-11

Volunteer mentor in uniform

I joined City Year London after completing my law degree and was motivated by the charity’s mission which is about harnessing the spirit and energy of young people to transform the lives of children.

City Year is about believing in something bigger than yourself, embracing diversity in your community and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. You’ve got to be prepared to go that extra mile for your students and you’ve got to be brave enough to grasp the other opportunities that come with your service.  For example, I got the opportunity to lead corporate directors and CEOs on volunteering days, and on one occasion I spoke in front of hundreds of guests at an event.

I was very apprehensive and nervous about City Year at the beginning, but it didn’t take me long to appreciate the journey of service I was on. Looking back, I saw my confidence improve, I learnt how to network with people in the private sector, which I had never been exposed to, and I was taught how to be a strong and persuasive communicator. All of these attributes were essential to my the role I went onto in Credit Suisse’s Corporate Citizenship team.

By volunteering with City Year I showed that young people can make a difference, contrary to the negative image which is often portrayed in the media. My year of service gave me great pleasure because I saw that I could make a real impact in my community and on the lives of children.

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