Monday, March 7, 2011

Putting Idealism to Work #128

By Maureen Dizon, corps member serving at Winston Education Campus

It’s 6:35am. I glance in the mirror before catching my bus to make sure my uniform is presentable. Honestly? For a moment I think my uniform is not particularly becoming.

There! I said it. However, then I realize it goes without saying that my service is not about whether my shoes fit. That’s why I always consider:

PITW #128: Take Enormous Pride In the City Year Uniform.

At the very least, my uniform makes it easy to get ready for a powerful day of service on those cold, dark mornings. And at the very most? Well, to borrow a phrase from my students, the City Year uniform is “doin’ the most.”

It is the most visible part of City Year’s culture. The vibrant red of our jackets allows us to naturally stand out in a crowd. The uniform unites us as a corps: a group of 140 red jackets is a powerful image! And though corps members change over the years, the uniform stays the same.

My uniform is what allows community members to address me by name and thank City Year for the work we do. When I feel like perfect strangers are gawking, I know it’s due to curiosity—and hopefully a vested interest after I tell them what City Year is all about. And regardless of who I am or what team I serve on, students recognize my uniform and know instantly that they can feel safe in my presence.

I know when I wear my uniform I represent not only myself, but City Year as a whole. It is a constant reminder of the commitments I have made to my students, my team, my community, and national service. I realize it is both an honor and a privilege to wear it each day. So I do so with spirit, discipline, purpose, and pride.

It’s 6:37am. Clad in my fresh and clean uniform, I’m ready to serve.

1 comment:

  1. Wearing the City Year uniform made me feel like a super hero. Like I could take on even the toughest problems in our city. Sure, it feels great to wear dress clothes to work now, but sometimes I miss the manly pants with layers of paint and boots that don't really keep out the cold. There's something about being part of a team and a site and a movement that builds confidence and the uniform is a large part of feeling that unity. I hope corps members for years to come wear it with pride.