Our six areas of impact
City Year advances our mission through six program areas designed to ensure that young people have the resources, experiences and skills they need to succeed in whatever path they choose and contribute to stronger and more vibrant communities and workplaces.
City Year’s impact areas
We advance educational equity through:
We support diverse leaders through:
Advancing education policy
National Partnership for Student Success
Launched at the White House in July 2022 and created by City Year and other youth-focused organizations, the National Partnership for Student Success is led by the U.S. Dept. of Education, The Everyone Graduates Center, and AmeriCorps. The partnership is designed to help students recover from the pandemic and to expand educational equity.
Equity-focused research and evaluation
City Year’s Research and Evaluation Strategy Team seeks to accelerate organizational progress and continuous improvement by leading an equity-based approach to research and evaluation that informs practice and policy improvements, builds our evidence of impact, and advances systems change.
In 2023, City Year and The Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University wrapped up a multi-year research study that produced several reports. The study provides strong evidence that City Year’s holistic approach to providing school-based interventions is successful in advancing student social, emotional and academic outcomes in schools, specifically schools that predominantly serve students of color and students from low-income families.
Innovating school design and improvement
In collaboration with the southwest Denver Community, Compass Academy, a charter public school, was opened by City Year and The Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University in 2015.
Compass pilots and tests new ways to support students through innovative holistic wellness tools that track the progress of each student, proactive family outreach and biliteracy instruction for English Language Learners. The school’s successful advisory model—a key part of its personalized approach to middle school—is expanding to Tulsa Public Schools this fall, reaching an additional 33,000 students.
Network for School Improvement
City Year’s Network for School Improvement (NSI) is designed to increase our partner schools’ capacity to use evidence-based tools and build a network of professional relationships that help practitioners to continuously learn and refine their skills to accelerate improved outcomes for students of color and lower-income students.
With support from the Gates Foundation, in 2021-2022, City Year and its partner The Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University engaged 30 schools across Jacksonville, Milwaukee and Tulsa, reaching 6,000 students. City Year’s NSI efforts to foster teacher voice and belonging in schools by supporting teacher agency was highlighted in Spring 2023 in an educator-focused journal, The Learning Professional.
Delivering and refining holistic school services
City Year recruits and trains young adults to become AmeriCorps members who serve as student success coaches (SSCs). Partnering with classroom teachers, SSCs tutor, mentor and provide research-based and data-driven supports that help students learn and develop.
Research shows City Year AmeriCorps members, who serve as student success coaches, get results. Schools that partner with City Year are up to two-to-three times more likely to improve in English and math assessments. And students who are supported by student success coaches have improved academic and social-emotional outcomes.
A first-of-its-kind collaboration among City Year, California Volunteers and five youth-focused nonprofits, the Student Success Coach Learning Network promotes best practices and increases the number of student success coaches in communities not directly served by City Year.
City Year continues to be a powerful part of our school programming. They develop strong professional relationships with the students, and for some students, they are the reason that the students come to school.”
Advancing national service
City Year serves as the organizational and operational host for Voices for National Service, a coalition of national, state and local service organizations working together to build bipartisan support for national service, develop policies to expand and strengthen service opportunities, and ensure a robust federal investment in AmeriCorps.
Over the past 20 years, Voices for National Service has worked with elected leaders to increase the federal government’s annual investment in the AmeriCorps grants programs by 220% and ensured resource allocation is informed by the experience of organizations on the ground.
Voices for National Service is seeking to make critical improvements to the 30-year-old AmeriCorps program to make service more equitable. A modernized AmeriCorps will include increased benefits for participants and ensure more organizations can access and maximize government resources.
Voices for National Service AmeriCorps Modernization Agenda
The agenda’s goals are to:
- improve recruitment, retention and the value proposition for participants from all backgrounds
- improve utilization of federal funds to grow and deepen impact
- diminish unnecessary financial risk for nonprofits operating AmeriCorps grants
Voices for National Service elevates AmeriCorps as a powerful strategy for tackling unmet needs. Founded in 2003, Voices for National Service has built strong bipartisan support for AmeriCorps, the public-private partnership that yields more than $17 in benefits to our country for every $1 invested and enables the 200,000 members of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors to support local nonprofit, faith-based and community organizations on the front lines of our communities – an effort that unites our country and deepens civic character.
Talent pathway program
City Year offers support for our alums to engage as partners for City Year’s impact and to continue to build their careers and realize their leadership potential and civic commitments.
Nearly half of City Year alums report they currently work in the education sector as teachers, principals, guidance counselors, in education policy or at education and youth-focused nonprofits. City Year is making onramps into teaching easier, more accessible and more affordable, particularly for corps members and alums of color.
Many City Year sites have established teacher pipeline programs with local universities and alternative programs such as Teach For America. City Year launched its own teacher fellowship program for AmeriCorps members and alums in Boston, Denver, Providence, and Milwaukee, designed to help make the teaching workforce more diverse and equitable by making teacher training more accessible and affordable.
City Year alums: A lifetime of impact
Following their service, our nearly 40,000 City Year alums—half of whom are people of color—are setting a new standard for how to create more collaborative, inclusive and equitable spaces and how to make our workforce, schools and communities stronger.
Nearly half of our alums—48%—report they currently work in the education sector as teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, at education-focused nonprofits or in policy, according to a Spring 2022 survey.
AmeriCorps leadership development
City Year focuses on developing the self-identity, durable skills, knowledge and agency of AmeriCorps members, while training and guiding them as they serve on diverse teams in partner schools and provide students with holistic support.
City Year’s leadership development program offers City Year AmeriCorps members leadership and professional development opportunities, including training related to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB), and helps them strengthen durable skills like teamwork and decision-making. AmeriCorps members receive coaching, career networking opportunities and mental health and wellness resources.
City Year has been a life-changing experience. I know that I’ll be drawing on the lessons I learned from years to come.”