As members of City Year we have learned to take pride in our uniform. When we are in uniform we represent the organization as a whole. We do not only wear khaki pants and Timberland boots, but also the values of our organization, and from that we derive pride.
When I first was accepted into City Year, despite my excitement, one of the things I dreaded the most was the idea of putting on a uniform. The idea of sacrificing my, albeit questionable, style for khakis and a bright red jacket sounded awful. I have since become quite comfortable in my uniform and have come to truly appreciate its advantages. The school I work at, Roger Williams Middle School, also has uniforms. The uniforms at RWMS are fairly new and are just starting to be integrated into the school’s culture in a substantial way. My City Year uniform has become my source of pride. I use myself as a literal example of someone who is in uniform daily. I customize to-the-max with my jewelry and nail color. The fact that there are so many Corps Members at the school that proudly wear a uniform everyday is a great advantage and something I am thankful for.
Roger Williams Middle School (RWMS) is an educational facility filled with vibrant, creative, and expressive students. When the uniform policy of maroon or black polo shirts and khakis was first implemented in 2011, there were varying emotions that came along with this change. Prior to the uniform policy, students were free to express themselves creatively in their style of dress. For many students, the very idea of wearing a uniform was an insult to their innovation- (an exclusion of their originality). Not by surprise, though, students have found ways to adhere to the uniform policy and still maintain their own sense of style. It is not uncommon to see a student, still technically dressed in full uniform, but also with a colorful scarf, or even a leopard-print bowtie. Students of Roger Williams are not wearing uniforms in vain; the student body is a living example of something very important to City Year: unity. Morning Unity Rallies allow the Corps to come together as a whole and demonstrate pride in our organization. Our school’s uniform policy also allows our students the opportunity to demonstrate school pride. The school consistently has at least 88% of the student-body dressed in full uniform, and the community in the school, as a whole, feels safe and finely dressed. Faculty also consistently rewards students that are in uniform by planning incentive programs like passes to see a movie, and the ability to get their lunch first. RWMS looks forward to 100% uniform in the school for the years soon to come.
~Kimberly Domercant and Patrick Amarante
Thank you to Patrick Amarante, Kimberly Domercant, and Sunaina Rao from the Roger Williams Middle School Team for contributing this month’s post.