The Road Less Traveled

By: Senta Riley, Incoming City Year Denver Corps Member (2012-13)

Ever wonder what inspires our corps members to commit to ten-months of full-time service with City Year?  Here’s a chance for you to learn about Senta Riley’s decision to pursue the road less traveled by dedicating a year of her life to volunteer as a tutor, mentor and role model for students in Denver Public Schools.

Senta Riley
Age: 21
Hometown: South Saint Paul, MN
School: University of St. Thomas
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Forty-eight days. It’s hard to believe the last four years of my life have led to this single pivotal benchmark: college graduation. As the year wraps up, the inevitable question arises, “What are you doing after graduation?” Some of my peers are pursuing graduate school, whereas others are delving into industry. But here I am, on the road less traveled, a year of service.  After spending four years constantly questioning whether or not I chose the right field of study, the decision to take a year off to pursue my passion for service and reassess my life path seemed necessary.

I first heard about City Year on a service-learning trip I took last year to Alamosa, Colorado. After reading about City Year’s mission and the impact it has made on cities across the United States, I knew that I had to become involved.

Service has always been a vital aspect in my life, whether it is through volunteering or mentoring. I believe that giving your time is the best and most genuine way to show how much one cares about social justice issues. Also, I believe that service is a two-way street, in that you get out what you put in.  Throughout the years, I have volunteered at elementary schools and served as a peer mentor for college students. These experiences not only allowed me to pursue my passion in education, they have also served as a reminder that I should be grateful for the education that I am currently receiving and the people who have mentored me along the way. Serving with City Year allows me to not only pursue my passion, but it also allows me to inspire others, like those who have inspired me.


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