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“Determination and Dedication”

Groups of volunteer mentors in circles

From the start of my City Year UK experience, I vividly remember the Programme Manager of London, Zipporah, telling the volunteer mentors, “by the end of City Year, you’re all gonna be changed people.” From where I am now, to where I was at the beginning of my journey with City Year UK, I can confidently say this experience has enhanced my vision and unravelled some personal goals of mine.

Attending the primary school I am assigned to, I have been able to build rapport with many pupils in the school. In addition, my City Year UK journey has enabled me to enrich the school experience of many pupils as they tell me how they wish I was in school on Fridays and how happy they are when City Year is around. Joyous and grateful are what I feel when I realise that the pupils enjoy the company of City Year UK mentors and that they are benefiting from our service. As well as me aiding the pupils to the best of my ability in their education, I have also learnt and developed from their enthusiastic words and behaviour. Therefore, I’d say volunteering in schools as a City Year mentor is a journey of determination and dedication. However, this type of service will also leave you feeling content and appreciative that you have been honoured with such a heartwarming role.

On Fridays, City Year UK mentors gather outside of their schools and meet in their regional City Year UK office. This is in order to work on our professional skills and enhance our leadership development. As such, this is another aspect of City Year UK that appealed to me. Our meetings on Fridays, away from the school environment, enabled us to reflect on our achievements so far and improve on our skills. This is done in a variety of ways, including conducting social action projects, team building games or presenting. I have benefited greatly from these gatherings and have met individuals who have enhanced my City Year UK journey. My development on Fridays enabled me to bring back to school what I’ve learnt and to serve for another week ahead.

My City Year UK experience is one I’ll never forget and is one that I would probably do all over again if I had the time! I’ve grown to adore all the children I work with and I am so happy to aid them in all aspects of their lives including advice on friendships, careers and ambitions. Most importantly, I’ve experienced growth in my own development through my time with City Year UK and grown to love the act of social service.

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