On October 19th, Roberto Clemente Community Academy High School hosted a day of service for the Clemente City Year team’s sponsor, Hyatt. Representatives of Hyatt Chicago attended the event in addition to global leaders of Hyatt locations as far away as Hong Kong and New Delhi. Our Hyatt sponsors initial intention was to bond as coworkers through physical service. Through interactions with both City Year corps members and visiting Clemente staff and students, the Hyatt volunteers left that Saturday with a greater connection to our school community and a greater understanding of the value and reasoning why a positive school environment helps to inspire our students’ potential.
The projects laid out to the volunteers were ambitious and took a few hours to complete on the day of service; but it’s important to realize the large amount of preparation that went into making the service projects successful. Many thanks go out to City Year’s Civic Engagement team, as they spent the prior two weeks preparing the third and fourth floors of Clemente (by designing and then tracing out the murals, organizing supplies, cleaning walls, etc.) for the projects. The third floor murals honor civil rights leaders and revolutionaries by painting their likenesses on the walls. The fourth floor murals are quotations from a few of those famous figures, like Pablo Neruda, Malcolm X, and Oscar Lopez Rivera. All of the murals were intended to make Clemente students question the meaning of these inspirational words and investigate the impact these influential figures had upon our global community.
Two Clemente students attended the Saturday event and were generally stunned that international business leaders came to Clemente just to make their school a nicer place to learn, thus opening their world view just a bit more. The project was a success not only for the tangible positive effect and decoration of our school, but because of the feeling of community that was created during one short day of service.