My husband and I are both Teach For America (TFA) alumni. We loved our time serving at-risk school districts through the TFA program. However, my husband recently started working for a new education based non-profit organization with a similar goal and purpose.
* Find my articles about Teach For America below:
Why Join Teach For America • Teach For America Information Night
AmeriCorp Loan Repayment Program • Surviving Institute 101
I want to share the work City Year is doing because the name branding for the program in the southern regions is low. So many people ask me what City Year is when they hear about Dom's new job, and it is an amazing program that more people should be aware of. Plus, I am always a fan of promoting a program that 100% positively affects our schools and students!
Read on to find out about the amazing work that City Year is doing to reach our students and schools.
City Year is an AmeriCorps program that recruits 17-24 year olds to spend 1 year serving in schools across the United States. City Year Corps members spend their time, not as teachers, but as mentors, role models, and what I like to call "gap fillers"- a name that I invented :). Let me explain why I would call them "gap fillers". A trending term in education these days is the "education gap". This gap refers to the difference in education, attention, and opportunity that certain student receive based on the school district in which they receive their education. City Year Corp members work to narrow that gap.
I spent 2 years teaching in South Carolina, and what I wouldn't have given for a City Year Corps member to have worked in my classroom or my department. Corps members call home when students don't show up to school, tutor students who are falling behind, help with make up work, run after-school programs, and mentor at-risk behavior students. Essentially, they let the teacher TEACH while they deal with the million of other things that fall on teachers shoulders. Sounds like a dream come true!
Talk about a true year of service. What they do can give a kid, who otherwise would have fallen clear through the cracks, a shot to really make the most of their education.
In a recent speech given at the AmeriCorp 20th Anniversary event, President Obama gave a quote from former City Year Corps member Matthew Little. Dressed in a City Year signature red jacket, Obama stated "Little says he 'discovered a new source of inspiration: Students who came to me with Fs left my homework club with As.' Little has been an educator ever since... like all those who serve their country through AmeriCorps, they don’t just believe in, but live out a fundamental truth, and that is that people who love their country can change it."
- full speech found here
Here are a few videos that outline the work that City Year does in the schools.
If you know anyone looking for a gap year in college or looking to take a year of service after graduation, suggest that they check out City Year!
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I am 25 years old with a 2 year old son and a wicked handsome husband living in Birmingham, Alabama.