Do you know Joe? No? Start reading about him & his “game changing” time in NYC…

Joe Mabry, The Unique ‘City Year’ Route

Joe came to speak to some Career Planning Classes here at UTSA, and his story of interning in the New York City area prior to coming to UTSA was inspiring and exciting! He may be a freshman by classification, but his maturity and confidence make you think he’s a Senior… I have a feeling his year interning with City Year is the main reason why… He started early getting some relevant experience working with youth who needed extra support and that ended up being life changing. (You still have a shot at being a part of the City Year family… Keep reading for ideas and contact information below.)

Read his story below through the question and answer exchange:

What was the most important part of your City Year experience?

The most important part of my City Year experience was getting to make a meaningful change in my students’ lives. Getting to help my sprouts grow into young scholars and kind people, facilitated my own development as leader, inspiring me to be my best self everyday that I showed up in the classroom. Facilitating the development of young minds is the most important job in our society, and I am grateful City Year gave me the opportunity to be a part of that process.

How did you learn about the organization and the opportunity?

I learned about City Year through one of my High School teachers who had served in City Year Boston. I knew I was looking for a challenging and unique experience that would have a positive impact on me and the world. When I told him about my goals, he said City Year would be a perfect fit for me, and he was totally right. That is why I serve a Campus Recruitment Ambassador here a UTSA, so I help guide other like-minded idealists to this amazing experience.

What challenge did you overcome while working there?

During my Corp Year, my team showed up at 7:00am to help manage getting our students breakfast and worked straight through the day until 5:30pm when the students would get picked up from our after school program. Facing the unique challenges of working in under-resourced schools, with students who had many problems inside and outside of the classroom, on top of long days taught me how to depend on my team to be flexible and creative in addressing problems that were big and small. Staying focused on trying to provide the best possible educational experience for the students inspired us to overcome any challenges that may have got in the way of giving our students the education they deserve.

What was most surprising about your experience?

I was so surprised to build such deep and meaningful connections with my fellow City Year Corp members. It is amazing how quickly you can form deep connections with the people around you. Working and overcoming difficult situations created bonds cannot be broken, and being around such an amazingly diverse and talented group of people unified in a mission to create a better world still inspires me every day. My City Year team is like a second family, and I cannot imagine my life without them.

In what ways do you feel you have grown – or gained skills – after completing this program?

I gained so much from my experiences in City Year it is almost impossible to describe. I gained many hard skills like being able to plan events, fundraise, teach meaningful lessons, work on a team and how to communicate in professional manner on and offline. But being a City Year gave me so much more, it taught me how to be role model, teacher and leader by expanding my understanding of my role in the world. Learning that I have the ability to change my students’ lives has brought focus to the path I want to take in life and makes me mindful of how the choices I make every day impacts the world around me.

What is an important quality or value for anyone interested in City Year to have in order for them to be a good fit?

The most important quality of a City Year is Idealism. Things won’t always go as planned and you will face challenges everyday so staying focused on creating the ideal world of the students allows you to overcome any challenge that may get in your way.

What was most rewarding about your experience?

The most rewarding part of serving with City Year was getting to see the smiles on my students faces every single day.

Want more information about City Year and how you can get involved?

Here’s their website: You can also connect with Joe on LinkedIn at: Keep your eye on Handshake as well to see when recruiters looking for you will be on-campus (as they are here often)!


By Karen Ivy
Karen Ivy Assistant Director-Student Services Karen Ivy