Spring is here, and if it is true that April showers bring May flowers, then we are in store for a beautiful month next month! April wraps up a busy time for the corps, with family engagement nights, our annual gala Starry Starry Night, and service on Comcast Cares Day. The April school vacation week provides a perfect time to recenter, regroup, and reinspire for the last two months of service!



City Year New Hampshire hosted its annual Starry Starry Night Gala on April 15, 2017. Dean Kamen, inventor, entrepreneur, and a tireless advocate for science and technology, was honored at the Wentworth by the Sea with the Lifetime of Service Award for his significant and long-lasting contributions to our state and our nation. We are grateful that so many champions and community leaders were able to join us and are thrilled we were able to not only meet, but exceed our event’s financial goal.  Please enjoy pictures from the event here and check out this Union Leader article about the event.  

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On Saturday, April 22, Comcast and City Year New Hampshire helped lead 250 community volunteers in service at Northwest Elementary School for the 16th Annual Comcast Cares Day. Volunteers painted murals, built benches, repainted the gym, beautified the school entrance, converted a dirt play space to a sand box, and repainted student bathrooms. This year, more than 100,000 volunteers participated across the U.S. and in 20 other countries around the world, and City Year supported 10 Comcast Cares Day events across the country. Huge thanks to Comcast, Northwest Principal Shelly Larochelle and her staff, and the City of Manchester Parks and Recreation Department for their support and involvement in the project.

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At Northwest, Principal Shelly Larochelle is working with her school staff and City Year personnel on building resilient learners through their SOS (Save One Student) initiative. Impact Manager, Neal Hunter, participated in the book study “Fostering Resilient Leaners” alongside his partners at Northwest to ensure that all school support staff use common language when supporting students in their school. Through the Save One Student initiative, school faculty and corps members are learning how to build an approach that is aligned with Northwest’s vision of cultivating powerful relationships between all students and faculty serving this community.

Bakersville Impact Manager, Tyler Wands, works closely with Principal Kate Josef, Social Worker Kate Kelly, College and Career Readiness Counselor Rachel Levangie, and Assistant Principal Steve Soucy to improve student attendance at Bakersville Elementary. Tyler uses data compiled by City Year to inform school wide attendance initiatives including the walking bus initiative, monthly acknowledgements of perfect attendance at the Bull Dog Pride assembly, and the attendance lunch for students with perfect attendance.


This month, corps members have experienced leadership and development sessions related to their own plans after City Year, resources in the Manchester community, social justice and personal bias, and community exploration. Highlights included:

  • Visit from the Superintendent - Superintendent Dr. Vargas joined City Year New Hampshire for a roundtable discussion, sharing his personal story around his career in public service and participating in a FAQ session with our AmeriCorps members.
  • Microaggression Training - One of City Year New Hampshire’s AmeriCorps members facilitated a social justice dialogue about the powerful impact of language on minority communities.
  • Leadership After City Year (LACY) Session at Comcast - Session content included how to position your service year experience, resume and cover letter review, personal brand and purpose, networking, and career exploration.
  • Spring Break: Stepping Back from Service - The week included Community Asset Mapping to New Horizons, YWCA and Families in Transition; Unpacking Power and Privilege discussion with Southern New Hampshire University Organizational Leadership professor, Chris Matthews; and Immersion Excursions exploring NH including trips to Portsmouth, hiking the Old Man on the Mountain trail, and a photo scavenger hunt.


Each month, get to know an AmeriCorps member from our City Year team on a more personal level.

April mtg Nicole and andrew closeup.JPGAndrew Bickert, serving in 5th grade with Ms. Mayotte

“I serve because every student deserves a personalized education.”

I was born in Springfield, Ohio, and lived there until my sister was born in January 2000, when we moved to Reynoldsburg, Ohio. My school district wasn't the best to its students, but even the most difficult obstacles can be overcome with a little determination. At the start of my freshman year of high school, I wanted to become a musician. I played French horn in concert orchestra, and mellophone in marching band, as well as sang bass in choir. As I progressed through high school, I developed an attraction to high-level math and science, such as calculus and physics. In my junior year, I decided I wanted to major in engineering with a minor in education, so that I could teach what I was passionate about and have a great time doing it. My senior year, I applied to universities who offered trustworthy engineering programs. Alongside my senior year, my school district went through a teacher strike. Despite the struggles that came with the strike, I supported not only my teachers, but my fellow classmates. I offered a tutoring "class" after school for anyone who wanted to keep up on their math, no matter the level of difficulty. As my senior year came to a close, I finished my capstone project: I took a spare room in the building and converted it into a student -lead library. I set up a rudimentary check-out system, and ran book drives to get enough books to the shelves.

Upon graduating high school, I jumped headfirst into the biomedical engineering pre-major program at The Ohio State University. After my first semester at OSU, I realized that engineering wasn't what I had originally thought it would be, so I decided to take the next semester off to think about what I wanted to do from there. I worked that spring and over the summer, and when I found out about City Year, I didn’t hesitate to apply. No student deserves to be split from their peers on an educational level, and it is my goal to bridge those gaps.

From my partner teacher, I’ve learned to pick my battles carefully. When multiple students are acting up, you may need to choose which to address first. I have learned that my efforts are better spent addressing the students who I know will not drag me into an argument, worsening the problem. In the last few months of service, I am looking forward to seeing my fifth graders' graduation from elementary school. I am extremely proud of how far they've come, and I'm eager to see them off. I’m also looking forward to the City Year end-of-the-year retreat, and to seeing my family when they drive up to New Hampshire for my own City Year graduation and to bring me back home to Ohio.

The City Year team had a busy month – here are some highlights:

  • Our Intergalactic Math Night on March 29th was a huge success! With nearly 100 students in attendance, the gym and cafeteria buzzed with excitement as students practiced identifying place values with space junk, making aliens out of math facts, and managing money while flying to the moon. With great take-aways they could use at home, it was wonderful to see so many parents, guardians, and older siblings participating throughout the night. A huge thank-you to the school for providing decks of flash cards students took home, and for overall help and support.

  • The Beech Street Team quickly transitioned from Math Night to planning April 25th’s site-wide Community Meeting. With the theme of, “Renewal,” it has given the team the chance to reflect upon their own service and how they continually find their own ways to process the difficult situations and move forward with renewed energy, commitment, and passion for their work.

  • To continue supporting the school’s attendance efforts, our two amazingly artistic corps members, Sarah Wheeler and Uthman Olowa, created City Year attendance-themed coloring pages. With different sheets depicting corps members and Beech Street administration, the contest is on to choose our most creative submissions from each grade and display in the cafeteria. With positive messages to be on time and help encourage your friends to come to school, the team will use these to keep promoting a positive attendance messaging throughout the school.

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The school is transformed for Intergalactic Math Night at Beech!

The Beech Street Team would like to appreciate Vice Principal Kelly Espinola. She has been a support for our team, checking in on individual’s well- being and encouraging open communication. Most of all, the team appreciates her approach with students, and being the “good calm during the storm.”

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