The CityDays program began in the PSC in 1992, originally as a series of days in which Cambridge Public School children would come to MIT to engage in sports, crafts, and education. CityDays then transformed into a one-day community service event where MIT students would serve at local organizations in the community. Each year, CityDays would send 600-800 volunteers to serve at 40-50 non-profit community organizations in the greater Boston and Cambridge area. Here, two past student planners for CityDays share their experiences.
What impact has CityDays achieved in the communities you served?
Over the years, CityDays has led to tens of thousands of volunteer-hours in the greater community. Students have helped with one-time tasks ranging from construction to curriculum development to food distribution. More important than the volunteer-hours is the learning that occurs in the community. Students become acquainted with some of the local community work and learn about ways to be civically engaged at MIT.
What inspired you to get involved with CityDays?
As an incoming freshman, I was excited to sign up for CityDays in order to learn more about the greater Boston community and to meet my peers. I value the way that CityDays unites the campus to break down the "MIT bubble," using service as its instrument.
Amanda David ’13
Why were you interested in being a student planner for CityDays?
I am passionate about public service, and I love planning large-scale events. Plus, I enjoy inspiring others to participate in local volunteer work. Planning CityDays was a perfect opportunity to pursue all of those interests in one summer job.
How has CityDays had a personal impact on you?
Just looking at the number of different service placements that took place during one day of service really opened my eyes to how many opportunities there are to volunteer in Boston. When I was coming in as a freshman, I knew I wanted to continue volunteering as I had done in high school, but I was worried that I'd have to do all of the research of local placements by myself. However, participating in CityDays gave me the opportunity to see in one booklet dozens of local agencies looking for volunteers. Further, I was able to become acquainted with the Public Service Center, which has continuously served as a valuable resource to me throughout my time at MIT.
Cory Hernandez ’14