#DecisionDay: Celebrating the decision to serve

This guest post is written by Melanie Brennand Mueller, Senior Director of Recruitment, Admissions, and Alumni Affairs at City Year HQ

Every morning when I walk into City Year Headquarters, I read one of my favorite quotes prominently displayed on the wall:

“Never doubt that a group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

– Margaret Mead

As of today, more than 1,650 young people have already committed to serve with City Year next year.  I’m inspired and reinvigorated every year at this time, as we look to fill the remaining spots in the corps over the next month, identifying the final few hundred more men and women who are ready to commit to a year of full-time service in schools and communities across the United States.

Not coincidentally, I also think about the thousands of young people who – today – are deciding which college to attend. At the same time, thousands of graduating college students are preparing to graduate and enter the “real world,” at the end of this month.  All of these paths require careful consideration and thoughtful choices.

But for the 1,650 confirmed corps members, this decision has been to serve.

Mead’s quote is considered one of City Year’s “Founding Stories,” a collection of quotes and reminders of the work we do and how we approach it.

This particular interpretation goes on to note,

“…But the critical component for success is “commitment.” Those who succeed in world-changing activities have an unwavering, passionate, almost irrational commitment to their cause.  Any of us can choose to use this formula, to find a cause we are passionately committed to, to recruit a team as passionate as ourselves, to generate ideas and strategies, and to stay the course, to be committed, fundamentally committed, until success is achieved.”

As the confirmed corps members for City Year’s 2012-13 corps continues to form as one of the most diverse groups to date, I am inspired and humbled by their commitment, as I honestly believe that it is the critical component for success:  the success of the children we serve, the schools we support, and the success of our organization to change the world.

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