New York City FC has run mentoring programs since the beginning of the Club allowing mentors to make an incredibly formative and long-lasting relationship and impact with the youth in NYC. The program has a wide variety of participants meeting individually with their respective mentors/tutors on a weekly basis, the majority of which are NYCFC front office.
To mark National Mentoring Month, staff member Chrissy Garcia sat down with NYCFC.com to speak about her experience.
How did you get involved?
When I first started full time with the Club, I was introduced to the Community department by other sales reps. I noticed they had a tutoring program and was previously involved in a similar back home. I really enjoyed the tutoring in Florida and I wanted to help kids further their education, especially if they may not have someone at home who has the time to support them. When I found out about the tutoring program at NYCFC, I immediately reached out to Paul to see how I could get involved and a week later we were all set up!
Where do you serve and what type of things do you do on a regular basis?
Every week I help tutor one of the kids from our Saturday Night Lights program. He’ll come into the Manhattan office and we cover everything from trigonometry, to AP English and Chemistry. Although I’m a bit rusty on these topics, we work well together to make sure he really understands the material. Outside of New York City FC, I volunteer for different programs. Over the summer, I work with a farmer’s market that offers fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income areas of Jersey City for free. I also volunteer my time to construction organizations that help rebuild or refurbish low-income housing in New Jersey.
What is the most rewarding part of serving in the community?
It’s being able to see the impact that you can have on another person’s life. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day in New York and we forget that we’re all part of a larger community. Many of us are fortunate enough to have people who care about us and we’re able to take the time to take care of others. It’s humbling to realize we’re rich in these areas and we should put them to good use in our community and help others. Knowing you made a positive impact for someone who can then turn around and help impact someone else in a positive way is incomparable to anything else. It’s really great to know that you’re part of this bigger circle of giving and helping in the community.
Advice for a future volunteer?
You’ll never know how much of an impact you can actually make if you never try . Find a cause you’re passionate about and commit to just one small project. Serving the community should never feel like a chore or something you’re forced to do--it should be something that inspires you to help others and every little bit helps. Whether it’s an hour a week, or a day every 6 months, it all matters. If you care about the cause, you’re going to enjoy what you’re doing and know that at the same time you’re helping others.