That makes rolling up your sleeves and actually doing something to make a difference all the more important.
It was three years ago I was first introduced to City Year. These were young people determined to change their world for the better. It's a lofty goal, no doubt.
They weren't loud about it. They didn't crave recognition. They were there because they believed in what they were doing; that education could open the world to children who thought they had no other options.
When we were first asked to submit ideas for Our Inspiration, I immediately thought of City Year. Not only are these people are giving up a year of their lives to invest in the lives of others, what they're doing is actually working. Their hours in local classrooms working one-on-one with students are producing real results.
Darian Smith, principal of Little Rock's Mabelvale Elementary, explained.
"What City Year does is allows our students to give that additional time, practice time, someone they can talk to and feel comfortable with and also to grow as a student, so we are truly seeing the impact City Year is having in our school," says Darian Smith, Principal at Mabelvale Elementary in Little Rock.
"We're there to make sure that these students do all these things they know they can do in their hearts but don't necessarily have the confidence to pull through," says 25-year-old Rachel Norris, a Little Rock native in her second year with the organization. "With City Year we give them that confidence and then they just soar."
Here's why this matters: Over 40 percent of Central Arkansas third graders are functionally illiterate. Of those, about a quarter will not graduate from high school. Think about what that means for the future of our state. Think about what improving those numbers, even by a little bit, can mean.
For the children who make up those statistics, it means a bright future versus a dim one. If these Corps Members can push one kid in the right direction, to me that's changing the world.