running after-school sports programs for kids whose trust he fought to win. Friends partying away their freshman year texted him, "Why aren't you in college?"
Sometimes Grimard asked himself that. The youngest hire in his school's team group of 18- to 24-year-olds, Grimard felt "too shy to talk" at early meetings--a change for a popular kid. "It was definitely different, and there were some lonely times," says Grimard, who returned to Ann Arbor last fall. But, he adds, "it's the best thing I've ever done."
And his year in the Bronx led him to take flight--literally. The school where he worked was under an approach path to LaGuardia airport in Queens. While most people found the constant buzz of air traffic a nuisance, it thrilled Grimard--and inspired him to pursue a career as an aviator.
Grimard is about six feet, with light brown hair, a well-scrubbed look, and an easy smile. As basketball captain in his senior year, he enjoyed the status but insists, "I wasn't like the coolest guy in the world," despite his "awesome prom date." He says he interviewed for City Year partly because "my math mind is very logical," and he hated committing to the time and expense of college without a career goal.