City Year

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City Year
City Year logo
Founded 1988
Founder Michael Brown and Alan Khazei
Focus Education
Area served

Baton Rouge
Columbia (South Carolina)
Columbus (Ohio)
Little Rock/North Little Rock
Los Angeles
New Hampshire
New Orleans
New York City
Greater Philadelphia
Rhode Island
San Antonio
San José/Silicon Valley
Seattle/King County
Washington, D.C.

Johannesburg, South Africa

London, England
Method citizen service, civic engagement and social entrepreneurship
Key people

Michael Brown, Cofounder and CEO
Jim Balfanz, President (City Year Boston '94)

Charlie Rose, Senior Vice President & Dean
US $79,298,613
approximately 2,500 in 2012 Corps members
Slogan give a year. change the world.
Revenue numbers are from the 2011 City Year annual report[1]

City Year is an education-focused nonprofit organization, based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA that partners with high need public schools to provide full-time targeted student interventions. In communities across the United States and through two international affiliates, City Year's teams of 17 to 24 year old AmeriCorps members support students by focusing on attendance, behavior, and course performance through in-class support, 1-on-1 and small group tutoring, mentoring, and after school programs that keep kids in school and on track to success. The organization's culture emphasizes the values of leadership, diversity and community service.


City Year was founded in 1988 by Michael Brown and Alan Khazei, then-roommates at Harvard Law School, who felt strongly that young people in service could be a powerful resource for addressing America's most pressing issues.

In early 2005, City Year opened its first international site in South Africa.[2] A second international affiliate, City Year London based in London, England, followed in 2010.[3] City Year London received financial support from the Fund of the London Mayor.[3]

In 2006, after Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf region, City Year opened a site in Louisiana to help with the recovery. The Louisiana Corps motto was "Here to Serve, Here to Stay."[2]

Over the years, the organization has expanded and focused its mission on fighting the dropout crisis in American education. In 2012, City Year launched a ten-year strategy to build the nation's urban graduation pipeline with a $10 million pledge from Trustee Jonathan Lavine.[4] The goal of the strategy is to double the number of students reaching the tenth grade on track to graduate in the schools where City Year serves, ensuring that at least 80% of the students in these schools are on track to graduate.[5] City Year corps members function as a "human capital resource" in underperforming elementary, middle and high schools, working with sliding students to provide targeted academic interventions aimed at curbing the number of high school dropouts.

Full-time School Based Service[edit]

City Year Corps members in Boston's Copley Square

People from the ages of 17 to 24 commit to a ten-month term of service with City Year, performing a combination of service, leadership development, and civic engagement as corps members.

To respond to the challenges facing public education, corps members work in schools full-time providing academic support and after school programming. These school partnerships work within a framework known as Whole School, Whole Child (WSWC). This program has several components, aimed at improving school attendance, student behavior, and course performance in English and Mathematics. These three factors, called the "ABCs", are prominent early warning indicators of students at risk of dropping out of high school.[6] According to the study, a child who exhibits even one of these indicators as early as sixth grade has a 75 percent chance of dropping out. Reaching those same children at the right time, with the correct intervention, can be the difference in whether or not that child makes it to graduation.

Corps members provide one-on-one and group tutoring to improve literacy and math skills, and work to promote a positive school climate by hosting a variety of evening and weekend events designed to engage students, their families, the school community and the local community.

In the 2012 - 2013 academic year, 2,500 City Year corps members serve approximately 150,000 students in 238 schools nationwide.

Site locations[edit]

City Year serves in 26 cities within the United States, with two international affiliates.[7]

Location State/ Province Founding date
Baton Rouge Louisiana 2005[Note 1]
Birmingham England 2013
Boston Massachusetts 1988
Chicago Illinois 1994
Cleveland Ohio 1996
Columbia South Carolina 1994
Columbus Ohio 1994
Dallas Texas 2015
Denver Colorado 2011
Detroit Michigan 1999
Jacksonville[8] Florida 2013
Little Rock/North Little Rock Arkansas 2004
London England 2010
Los Angeles California 2007
Miami Florida 2008
Milwaukee Wisconsin 2010
New Hampshire[Note 2] New Hampshire 2000
New Orleans Louisiana 2005[Note 1]
New York[Note 3] New York 2003
Orlando[9] Florida 2013
Greater Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1997
Rhode Island[Note 4] Rhode Island 1993
Sacramento[10] California 2012
San Antonio Texas 1995
San José/Silicon Valley California 1994
Seattle/King County Washington 1998
South Africa[Note 5] Gauteng 2005
Tulsa Oklahoma 2013
Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. 2000

*Highlighted entries are international locations

City Year London[edit]

City Year launched in London during the 2010/11 academic year with 60 corps members working in teams across six primary schools. For the start of the 2011/12 school year City Year had 81 corps members serving across nine schools and today it has 112 corps members serving in teams across 12 primary and secondary schools across London.[11]

Since the most recent general election, City Year London has met with range of MPs, government ministers and, most recently, the Prime Minister David Cameron to champion service opportunities for young people across the UK.[12]

City Year logo.
City Year London.

City Year London was recently awarded a Social Action Fund grant of £300,000 from the Government’s Cabinet Office, which has gone towards the expansion of City Year’s service across London and the development of three new school partnerships from September 2012.[13]

Leadership Development[edit]

As part of their year of service, City Year London corps members benefit from a year-long leadership development programme which is delivered by the organisation’s corporate sponsors every Friday. Leadership development days help corps members to develop skills and competencies to be successful in securing a job after City Year. This includes CV and interview guidance, work-shadowing, networking sessions, public speaking and presentation skills training. Each corps member is also matched with a corporate mentor.[14] 95% of corps members who graduated from the 2011/12 City Year London programme successfully secured a place in education or employment after City Year.[15]

IVR Evaluation[edit]

An evaluation of City Year London’s work in schools was conducted by the Institute for Volunteering Research in November 2012. It found that corps members were having a positive effect on the attainment, behaviour and focus of school children and that teachers valued the help and support they received from corps members in the classroom. The evaluation also highlighted a boost in confidence and the employability of City Year corps members who have completed the programme.[16]

The London Corps[edit]

City Year London recruits a diverse corps to reflect the diversity of the children it works with. City Year is currently recruiting 18-25 year old corps members from colleges, universities and youth centres across London and the rest of the UK. The organisation recruits a diversity of young people into the corps based on: socio-economic status, eligibility for Free School Meals, type of secondary education (e.g. public or private), educational attainment, gender and ethnicity. Approximately 60% of City Year London's current corps members are graduates while 40% are college leavers.


The Private Equity Foundation helped to bring City Year from America to London in 2010. The Chief Executive of the Private Equity Foundation, Shaks Ghosh visited City Year in Boston in 2009 and was so impressed by its ‘double benefit’ model that she donated £1 million to help start up City Year in London. The Private Equity Foundation is City Year London’s Lead Founding Partner.[17]


City Year's funding comes from a variety of sources. In FY 2012, 27% of the organization's operating revenue came from AmeriCorps, 25% from foundations, 18% corporations, 15% School districts and other local government grants, 8% individual donors, and 7% in-kind sources.[1]


City Year is a five-time winner of the Social Capitalist award from the Fast Company Monitor group.[18] City Year has also has had positive reviews from the Princeton Review and the U.S. News & World Report, and has earned four stars from the organization, Charity Navigator.[19]


City Year has been criticized by some for accepting a sponsorship from the soft drink manufacturer PepsiCo. Because City Year Corps members are role models to many children, this partnership might encourage greater consumption of soft drinks, which some see problematic in light of the current national woes with childhood obesity.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b City Year Baton Rouge and New Orleans were founded as a single site, City Year Louisiana, in 2005. The sites separated in 2011 forming two separate affiliates.
  2. ^ The affiliate is named after the state. The site is located in the city of Manchester
  3. ^ The affiliate is centered around New York City not state.
  4. ^ The affiliate is named after the state. The site is located in the city of Providence
  5. ^ The affiliate is named after the country it is located in. The site is located in the city of Johannesburg


  1. ^ a b "2011 City Year". City Year. 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  2. ^ a b "43 Entrepreneurs Who are Changing the World: City Year". The Fast Company. 2007. 
  3. ^ a b BBC News London. "Pupil mentoring scheme launched across London", [BBC Online], September 27, 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2013
  4. ^ "City Year Launches Ten-Year Strategy to Build the Nation's Urban Graduation Pipeline". City Year. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "City Year Launches Ten-Year Strategy To Build The Nation's Urban Graduation Pipeline". PRNewswire. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Robert Balfanz and Lisa Herzog Unfulfilled Promise: The Dimensions and Characteristics of Philadelphia's Dropout Crisis
  7. ^ "Where You'll Serve". City Year. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Lead letter: City Year will add mentors to the schools". The Florida Times Union. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "National mentoring service to aid struggling Orange schools". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  10. ^ "National mentoring organization comes to Sacramento schools". Capital Radio. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  11. ^ City Year London News. "City Year school partnerships for 2012-12 announced", [City Year London], Retrieved on 10 August 2012
  12. ^ City Year London News. "City Year CEO reaction to PMs announcement into 'decade of social action'", [City Year London], Retrieved on 10 August 2012
  13. ^ City Year London News. "City Year awarded £300,000 of Government's Big Society fund", [City Year London], Retrieved on 10 August 2012
  14. ^ Good practice. [1], [Children & Young People Now], Retrieved on 11 April 2013
  15. ^ Leadership. [2], [City Year London], Retrieved on 10 August 2012
  16. ^ City Year London Programme Evaluation. "Evaluation of City Year London Programme: End of Year 1 Report", [Institute for Volunteering Research], Retrieved on 10 November 2012
  17. ^ Private Equity Foundation press. "PEF leads launch of new London youth charity", [Private Equity Foundation], Retrieved on 10 August 2012
  18. ^ "45 Entrepreneurs Who are Changing the World: City Year". The Fast Company. 2008. 
  19. ^ "Awards and Recognitions". City Year. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  20. ^ Soumerai, Stephen B.; Gillman, Matthew W. (2007-07-21). "City Year's unhealthy corporate ties". Boston Globe. 

External links[edit]