The More You Give, The More You Get

On Monday, August 20th, investment banker and philanthropic leader, Floyd Jones, spoke with the 2012-2013 City Year Seattle/King County corps. As the first in a series titled “Learning from Leaders” Floyd was asked to speak about his humble, yet very powerful, personal motto which is simply put “the more you give, the more you get.”  City Year, and the larger Seattle community, has benefited greatly from Floyd’s spirit of generosity and commitment to investing in others.

Floyd Jones visits with City Year Seattle

Investment banker and philanthropic leader, Floyd Jones, shares his wisdom with the Seattle corps as a part of the “Learning from Leaders” series.

During his presentation, Floyd shared stories of his personal path; one that took him from sharecropping in rural Missouri as one of 12 children, to earning his college degree with the help of the GI Bill, to professional success and giving back to the community. As he recounted the many organizations he has supported, Floyd highlighted the Union Gospel Mission and KCTS 9 as two he is particularly proud of. He then tipped his hat to the City Year corps members, expressing his appreciation for the tutoring and mentoring they will provide school children throughout the Southeast and Southwest neighborhoods of Seattle. And, with a sparkle in his eye, he applauded the group for not only being the largest corps he has had the pleasure of meeting, but the best looking as well!

When asked to provide the corps with one bit of advice, he encouraged each to engage in daily positive self-affirmations. “It is important to keep front of mind that I believe in you, you believe in you, and that today will be a good day,” Floyd reminded the corps, and he suggested they picture each of the students they work with before arriving to school each day. “These positive thoughts and warm regards for each student will really pay off,” promised Floyd. Many corps members scribbled Floyd’s tips in their notebooks and will undoubtedly put into practice these helpful recommendations in just a few weeks when the school year commences.

As the City Year corps begins 10 months of selfless service, they have much in common with Floyd and his unique disposition that puts the health of his community before his own. During his closing remarks, Floyd reminded the corps that he believes in them – and that he knows that they will do great things for the community during their year with City Year.

Powerful Service, Powerful Leaders

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City Year‘s tagline is “give a year. change the world.” The understanding of that tagline is found in its inherent duality. A corps member must work to change their outer world: the students and communities they serve, while they simultaneously work … Continue reading

Corps Member Highlight

Ruchi Bagrodia came to City Year from Calcutta, India by way of Austin, Texas. This past year Ruchi Studied Biology and Spanish at the University of Texas at Austin. She now proudly serves at Roxhill Elementary in the 4th grade. During her year of service, Ruchi says that she looks forward to, “sharing my passion for learning with young students and transforming the idea of school in their eyes so that it is seen as a positive and inspirational place.”

Why do you serve? 

As a young adult having attended an accredited university, I feel privileged to have been offered the many opportunities which have led me to where I am today. However, this is certainly not the case for much of our society’s youth. There is no doubt in my mind that every child has the potential to learn and develop into a bright individual. I want to bring out that potential in each and every student in the classroom and most importantly, have them realize it. Learning has always been a passion of mine, and so I hope to make school a positive and nurturing experience for others as well. I believe a proper education can provide a child with opportunities for a successful future. Therefore, I serve in order to be a part of this change towards a more educated, successful, and equal society.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from being a new corps member?

I have learned that having a positive attitude and providing support for one another can certainly change an entire day’s performance.  It is important to have an open mind when working with such a diverse group of individuals; and by just being there every day, ready to engage others with compassion and respect, the team is already set up for a successful journey ahead.

What are you looking forward to this year?

I am looking forward to building close relationships with my team members as we work together to keep students at Roxhill Elementary School on track towards a successful academic future. I am also looking forward to seeing my students grow as individuals throughout the year. I know the people I work with this year will not only challenge me, but also teach me more about myself than I ever knew before.

What is the City Year morning program at Roxhill Elementary School?

Every morning before school starts, the Roxhill City Year team leads Homework Club for about a half hour. Every Corps Member sits at a different table around the cafeteria to join each of the six different grade levels, K to 5th grade.

Many of the students are not able, or may not be motivated, to complete their assigned homework the night before, so this is a perfect time to get that work done before class begins. If students do not have homework to work on, Corps Members engage them in reading a book or practicing math problems.

On Mondays, we have recently implemented “Learning Monday Fundays,” in which students get to participate in fun educational games and activities. Overall, Homework Club is a fun and productive way to start off each day!