GCF was change Emonni Cropper needed to spread her wings & fly

September 13, 2016  |   Posted by :   |   Blog   |   Comments Off on GCF was change Emonni Cropper needed to spread her wings & fly»

Green City Force (GCF) Corps Member Emonni Cropper was selected to address her fellow Corps Members at their graduation ceremony, held in the NYCHA Ceremonial Room, on July 22, 2016.

During her remarks, Emonni–from Butler Houses in the Bronx–drove home the point that GCF is about more than service and professional preparation, it’s about creating a nurturing community that promotes personal development. Having entered the program admittedly more reserved, now Emonni says “I’m breaking free of my shell and I have found my voice.” For Emonni, “GCF was the change I needed to fly and spread my wings.” Read her full speech below.

Gradaute Emonni Cropper shows off the public speaking skills she polished during her service term.

Gradaute Emonni Cropper shows off the public speaking skills she polished during her service term.

“I’m not usually the type of person that would normally speak out and especially not in front of a large crowd such as this. This right here is an example of how GCF has positively influenced my life. I’m breaking free of my shell and I have found my voice.

I want to start by thanking everyone for coming out this morning for this great celebration and turning point in our lives. I would like to read one of my favorite poems by Langston Hughes and hopefully it resonates with us all.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

I chose this poem because not only does it send a powerful message to never give up on your dream and goals, but because it’s comparison to a life without a dream is empty and useless.

Before GCF my life was in a downward spiral and I felt so overwhelmed with the way my life was going that I gave up and didn’t care about anything. I was going down the wrong path which put me in a lot of sticky situations with the law and other things. I was doing a lot of things and watching my life pass me by and it was either one of two things that would of happened if I continued on this destructive path, I would end up dead or in jail.

I learned about GCF through my older sister who saw that I needed to make a change, and it was one of the best decisions I made in a long time to join GCF. During GCF I have grown a lot. I used to be a loner, non-vocal, and always in some trouble. Now I speak up, I voice my opinion, I’m not afraid to speak to anyone, and I’m definitely not alone!

GCF staff and corps members have impacted me greatly and I have met some of the most amazing people through this program and they all push you to be the greatest that you can be through encouragement. I found myself and I’m no longer a threat to myself, but now I’m a positive, caring, and hard working person who is not afraid anymore. GCF was the change that I needed to fly and spread my wings.

We will continue to prove people wrong, cohort 11! We will fly high and soar and become outstanding individuals.

The positivity of the people around me has truly touched me and not only does GCF make the earth a better place they really do change people and I’m just one of the many. We all can achieve our goals through hard work and dedication. Who is anyone to tell us that we can’t. We will continue to prove people wrong, cohort 11! We will fly high and soar and become outstanding individuals. We can and we will, I just know it!

I hope to continue my education after this program and go on to find a great job, while keeping GCF in heart and still practicing the core values I have learned here. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Thank you all.”

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