||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (September 2011)|
|Founder(s)||Michael Brown and Alan Khazei|
Michael Brown, Cofounder and CEO
|Method(s)||citizen service, civic engagement and social entrepreneurship|
|Volunteers||approximately 2,500 in 2012 Corps members|
|Motto||give a year. change the world.|
|References: Revenue numbers are from the 2011 City Year annual report|
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. They built City Year with the conviction that one person can make a difference; and since its inception, City Year has promoted the vision of service as a common expectation – and a real opportunity – for citizens all around the world.
Initially, corps members focused their efforts on community rehabilitation, beautification of neighborhoods, and developing community awareness in Boston. Over the years, the organization has expanded, opening sites in 24 cities throughout the U.S., and refocused its mission on fighting the dropout crisis.
Inspired by a visit with City Year during his 1992 run for the U.S. presidency, President Bill Clinton enlisted the help of Brown, Alan Khazei and others to establish AmeriCorps through the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. Since then, more than 575,000 AmeriCorps members have contributed upwards of 700 million hours of public service. All Americorps members, originally conceived as unpaid volunteers in service, are now paid by the federal government through the Corporation for National and Community Service (agency funding for 2010 was $1.6 billion) and subsequently through a variety of matching grants, including the Segal Americorps Education Award. City Year, along with thousands of other non-profit organizations, is a member of the AmeriCorps network, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
In 2009, Michael Brown announced "In School and On Track: A National Challenge." City Year’s In School & On Track initiative is designed to bring City Year corps members to 50% of all of the students falling off track in City Year’s 24 U.S. locations, which will require expanding the number of corps members to 6,000 and engaging school districts, the private sector and the federal government through AmeriCorps as partners.
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. 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. 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
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. 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.
|“||The direction City Year is going is breathtaking. The idea of quadrupling the number of corps members, the idea of just taking on systemically this dropout challenge with great partners, I think it will transform educational opportunity in this country – hopefully for decades to come.||”|
—U.S. Secretary of education Arne Duncan, National Leadership Summit 2013
City Year corps members are between the ages of 17 and 24 and represent a diverse array of racial, ethnic, religious, and educational backgrounds. Approximately 60% of the corps members are recent college graduates, while approximately 20% has some college and approximately 20% are recent high school graduates.
Corps members begin their term of service in the summertime, undergoing several weeks of intensive training before the beginning of the school year, when they are assigned to serve on a team at one particular school. During this training, corps members are oriented to City Year culture and trained on how to work within schools.
Like other AmeriCorps members, City Year corps members receive a biweekly living allowance, or stipend. This stipend varies depending on the cost of living for the particular site that a corps member is serving at. Many City Year corps members also receive transportation benefits for the local transit authority.
City Year is a highly selective program. Last year, roughly 1 in 5 applications to City Year were offered a spot with the current corps.
City Year corps members wear a distinctive uniform, issued by the organization - a red bomber jacket worn with khaki pants and Timberland boots. Three City Year sites, San José/Silicon Valley, Sacramento, and Los Angeles, wear yellow bomber jackets due to existing associations with the color red in the communities in which they serve. Corps members perform a "readiness" check each morning to ensure that all pieces of the uniform are being worn with excellence.
Prominent members of a community in which City Year serves who have acted as major advocates or champions of the organization are often gifted with their own red jacket. This honor is called jacketing. Upon gifting the jacket, a current City Year corps member explains the significance of the jacket:
"The City Year red jacket is a symbol of hope to the children and communities that we serve. It has been weaved together with not only cotton and thread but also with the spirit, idealism and purposeof serving others. Each year the faces of the corps members may change but the symbol of the jacket remains the same. It is our honor to officially welcome you into the City Year family by presenting you with your very own City Year red jacket!"
At the beginning of some City Year service days, corps members start their day in an event called Unity Rally. Unity Rally is typically held in a public place in the city such as a square, park or monument. For example, City Year San Antonio performs Unity Rally in front of the Alamo Mission and City Year Columbus performs in front of the Ohio Statehouse. It is meant to be a public demonstration of the idealism and energy of the corps and their commitment to serving the community.
Unity Rally consists of reciting the City Year pledge and performing PT or physical training. Some of the exercises may include 3-count jumping jacks and culture specific exercises such as power lunges and Front-Side-Back-Side-Front.
City Year serves in 24 cities within the United States, with two international affiliates.
|Location||State/ Province||Founding date|
|Baton Rouge||Louisiana||2005[Note 1]|
|Little Rock/North Little Rock||Arkansas||2004|
|New Hampshire[Note 2]||New Hampshire||2000|
|New Orleans||Louisiana||2005[Note 1]|
|New York[Note 3]||New York||2003|
|Rhode Island[Note 4]||Rhode Island||1993|
|San José/Silicon Valley||California||1994|
|South Africa[Note 5]||Gauteng||2005|
|Washington, D.C.||Washington, D.C.||2000|
*Highlighted entries are international locations
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.
While he was still Governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton visited the Boston site, and that experience partly inspired him in his first term as President to create the AmeriCorps national service program as a way to fund City Year and other similar organizations. All AmeriCorps members earn an education award while performing service, which can be used to fund education or training or to repay student loans. City Year is now a member of the AmeriCorps network along with thousands of other non-profits. The money received via AmeriCorps allows City Year to support its corps members annually, which includes awarding them with a Segal Education Award upon completion of the program.
City Year was started with private funding and still maintains many of its efforts via gifts from organizations as National Leadership Sponsors and Team Sponsors.
National Leadership Sponsors are the companies—and the people—increasing the service and scope of City Year as its closest strategic and premiere partners. In addition to their time, expertise and ideas, National Leadership Sponsors invest at least $1 million in City Year over two years. City Year National Leadership Sponsors include:Aramark, Bank of America, Cisco Foundation, Comcast, CSX, PepsiCo, Microsoft, Timberland, T-Mobile, WalMart and Deloitte.
The program also began sustaining its corps members via public funds during the George H.W. Bush administration. City Year also receives support from local and national non-profits, such as the Case Foundation, which brought City Year to Washington, D.C., in 2000.
Public schools districts partner with City Year to bring teams of corps member to work in schools. Though it varies from district to district, schools are responsible for financing a portion of the cost of maintaining a team of City Year corps members in service.
The Care Force division of City Year engages employees of different corporations in community services events. Net proceeds from Care Force events are revenue of the City Year organization.
City Year is a five-time winner of the Social Capitalist award from the Fast Company Monitor group. 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.
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.
- Corporation for National and Community Service
- National Civilian Community Corps
- Peace Corps
- Teach For America
- 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.
- The affiliate is named after the state. The site is located in the city of Manchester
- The affiliate is centered around New York City not state.
- The affiliate is named after the state. The site is located in the city of Providence
- The affiliate is named after the country it is located in. The site is located in the city of Johannesburg
- "2011 City Year". City Year. 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "43 Entrepreneurs Who are Changing the World: City Year". The Fast Company. 2007
- BBC News London. "Pupil mentoring scheme launched across London", [BBC Online], September 27, 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2013
- "City Year Launches Ten-Year Strategy to Build the Nation's Urban Graduation Pipeline". City Year. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- "City Year Launches Ten-Year Strategy To Build The Nation's Urban Graduation Pipeline". PRNewswire. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Robert Balfanz and Lisa Herzog Unfulfilled Promise: The Dimensions and Characteristics of Philadelphia's Dropout Crisis
- "Where You'll Serve". City Year. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- "Lead letter: City Year will add mentors to the schools". The Florida Times Union. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
- "National mentoring service to aid struggling Orange schools". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
- "National mentoring organization comes to Sacramento schools". Capital Radio. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
- "Care Force". City Year. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
- "45 Entrepreneurs Who are Changing the World: City Year". The Fast Company. 2008
- "Awards and Recognitions". City Year. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
- Soumerai, Stephen B.; Gillman, Matthew W. (2007-07-21). "City Year's unhealthy corporate ties". Boston Globe