Today’s guest blogger, incoming corps member Chris Yarrell, explains why he decided to commit a year of his life to serve as a tutor, mentor, and role model in Denver Public Schools.
By: Chris Yarrell
For those of you who are nervous about the approaching year, I hope that my piece offers you a little comfort and a different perspective.
I met one of my closest friends, Ray Brown, as a senior in college. We were both taking a social psychology class together with my favorite professor, the inimitable Dr. Achee. Ray was not shy about making his curiosity known to everyone. I respected that about him. This love of researching the unknown, as well as scrutinizing the well known is what serves as a foundation for our friendship. We both believe that by questioning the nature of things, whether relatively trivial or extremely important, you can change things. Ultimately, this love for investigation is a driving force behind my wanting to serve.
Meeting Ray only reinforced my idea of who I was. As a psychology major, this conclusion made sense. My affinity for questioning things, significant or not so significant, is directly correlated with my wanting to elicit change. To me, there is no real dividing line between the two. Here is where City Year comes in. My reason(s) for serving is fundamentally no different than yours:
(1) I am called to serve
(2) There are some readily identifiable problems that are found through investigating our educational system thoroughly that must, and will be addressed.
I believe that we are committing our time away from our families and loved ones, to people who we have never met, because we are called to do so. We believe that our presence in the lives of young people, who are just as human as us, is critical to their personal development; because we know that our service, at the end of the day, will give us, and everyone around us, more hope in a world that may seem a bit unjust at times. So, as you and I prepare to make this next chapter in our lives an incredibly impactful, purposeful, and awesomely awesome experience – let the natural presence of fear or anxiety fall by the wayside.
And, as we make our transition out to Denver, let us not forget our overall objective: To bring forth change, in every sense of the word.