After our second Opening Day at the end of August I was overwhelmed with the support displayed by guests, the Denver Public School District, elected officials and our speakers. As we run full steam ahead in our second year here in Denver it is obvious to me that we are “standing on the shoulders of giants” and those giants include the other 22 City Year sites that were founded before us as well as many others who have made the idea of City Year a success. I remember sitting in one of my first meetings in the City Year community and being told that City Year’s reputation preceded us.
I imagine Michael Brown and Alan Khazei, co-founders of City Year Inc., must sit back in awe at the support that has grown the organization from an idea in a Harvard Law School dorm room back in 1988 to what it is today. They are living proof of the power of young people to make a positive change. The supporters who still stand next to the organization prove that the work we do is accomplished with the help of many.
A few weeks ago we hosted an intimate event to kick off our Women’s Leadership Committee here in Denver with women who have shown interest in participating in the committee as it forms. It was really incredible. The room was filled with women who heard about City Year through a friend and joined us for a fundraising breakfast last year. At the event these women were moved to get more involved and a committee began forming. One of these women was so moved that she offered to host an event at her tea shop and City Year Denver’s Women’s Leadership High Tea was born.
Wystone’s World Teas hosted the event with all the wonderful treats a royal high tea would have: scones, fruit, cucumber sandwiches, and even petite fours alongside the custom City Year blend tea. The room was filled with life and energy as many women caught up with familiar friends and met new ones. These are some of my favorite moments, realizing that by doing the work we do in schools we are also building a community of supporters around our work to sustain and strengthen every day.
Reflecting on the event I had one of those moments that I call a “future deja vu” where I think, someday I will look back on this moment and I’ll think, “That’s where it all started”. I feel blessed to work for City Year and to be able to grow with the site as we meet likeminded people all over the city.
by Alyssa Gomez
Marketing and Events Manager