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Our evolution

Since our founding in 1988, City Year has evolved from a small community service pilot in one city to a national organization that collaborates with partners to re-envision our educational system and create more opportunities for young people to thrive.

Today, City Year recruits and trains diverse young adults from all 50 states to serve students and schools as AmeriCorps members across 29 U.S. cities.

While our goals remain promoting educational equity and developing diverse leaders, our areas of impact have expanded. Today, they include supporting educators in systemically under-resourced schools, producing equity-focused research and policy, and, ultimately, creating lasting systems change.

Our beginning

Advancing national service

From our earliest days, City Year has recruited diverse young adults who build positive relationships as they serve communities. Initially, corps members served across a wide range of areas—from beautifying parks to working with children to supporting public health campaigns. Through service, they developed key skills that helped them to further their education and workforce goals.

City Year worked to promote engaged citizenship and the concept of voluntary national service as a rite of passage for young Americans.

City Year is proud to be part of the inspiration for the creation of the federal AmeriCorps program in 1993. Through AmeriCorps, more than one million Americans have helped veterans and their families to readjust after deployment; taught children to read; fought forest fires; and aided recovery efforts after major disasters such as hurricanes.

Our focus

Serving students and schools

We turned our focus to serving exclusively in schools over 15 years ago, recognizing that our AmeriCorps members, as near-peer tutors, mentors and role models, were uniquely and powerfully positioned to partner with classroom teachers and support students throughout the school day.

We serve where we are most needed—in under-resourced public schools that serve large numbers of students of color and students growing up in lower-income households—young people who too often are placed furthest from opportunity.

From our roots in youth development and service, City Year has understood that supporting students means taking a holistic approach—developing tools and techniques that help children and young people to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.

With our school partners we launched our Whole School, Whole Child® services that are grounded in both research and our own experience serving in hundreds of public schools.

Our work today

Practice + research + policy = systems change

Today, we’re applying research and feedback to build out a more robust, defined model and description of City Year AmeriCorps members as  student success coaches (SSCs).

Student success coaching better conveys the holistic nature of the support corps members provide and training they receive. We want SSCs to be recognized as an important part of healthy, equitable school ecosystems and replicated beyond districts and schools that are directly part of City Year’s network.

In addition to our direct service in schools, we are promoting equity-focused research and policy, including helping to launch the National Partnership for Student Success; innovating new school design and learning environments; and seeking lasting systems change.

This work includes the launch of the Student Success Coach Learning Network in California, where eight youth-serving organizations are collaborating with City Year to expand student success coaching into several communities not currently served by City Year AmeriCorps members.

Learn more

Explore information about our six impact areas and our strategy to achieve our mission.

Our six impact areas Our strategy
National Strategic Partners
National Partners