For the past eight weeks, CYJax has had an interim Community and Schools Partnerships Director. Sean has been in charge of helping inform the schools about City Year's role, as well as help coordinate the trainings on Fridays. I've worked with him a lot the past couple of months and have really enjoyed having him. He's a great resource and really knows City Year. He's been awesome to have around the first few months of start-up because he's seen what establish sites have and is able to bring it to Jacksonville.
Unfortunately, this week was Sean's last week in Jacksonville. Our permanent Community and Schools person, Cory, is onboarding this week and will be on his own starting Friday. Tonight, we had a farewell for Sean both at school (with the corps members) and at this restaurant (without corps members). We went to Gilbert Middle where the other CY team is serving and had chips and soda. We gave him our gift (this really cool tree bark thing that Jacqui made) and hung around with the corps for a while.
After the corps left, we met about our community meeting that we're hosting in a few weeks. One interesting, and sometimes frustrating, part of doing start up is that everyone has a basic idea of what is supposed to happen, but the details vary from site to site. Every site has community meetings and they're basically the same, but all of the details are different. It's fun being able to start from scratch, but it can be frustrating when people are stubborn and want things done their way (ie Quinci and Abbi). Overall, it's really cool though.
We set a time limit of one hour on our meeting so that we would have time to go to Three Layers Cafe afterwards. It's the same place Joe, Adrienne and I went on Saturday night. It has a cool feel on weeknights, it just wasn't what we were looking for last Saturday. We hung around for a while and talked about other things besides City Year (so nice!). I filled them in on how much I cry (commercials, sad movies, almost anything moving or emotional) and we talked about what Sean is doing after City Year (living in India with his family for six weeks....I'm so jealous!). It's always fun to hang out with City Year people outside of City Year. They are so fun and when you can get them talking about things other than work, it's usually a good conversation.
So, while tonight was a ton of fun, it was sad to see Sean go. He was such a great mentor, leader, and person to have around these past couple of months. He will be greatly missed by everyone in Jacksonville.
"You know you're great when you can make others better." -Biasia Sparks
PS- Major shoutout to Karen who just got a promotion!! Get it girl! Way to rock it!