be_ixf;ym_202407 d_20; ct_50 YES! I want to make a difference TODAY!

Celebrating the City Year LA AmeriCorps Class of 2021

Earlier this month we graduated our 2020-2021 AmeriCorps class, marking the end of our 14th year of service in Los Angeles.

This year’s corps stepped up for their students like never before. Together, they served more than 300,000 hours in virtual classrooms, helping close the learning gap presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring that thousands of students’ social-emotional needs were met just as much as their academic ones. The impact that this group of individuals have created for their students will surely ripple on for years to come.

Our graduation celebration was emceed by AmeriCorps members Aysia-Marie Perkins from our team at Hollenbeck Middle School and Andres Gutierrez, who served on our team at Belmont High School.

During the event, Tai Daniels, who served as a project leader on our Civic Engagement team, gave the AmeriCorps member keynote address, and Esmeralda Balvaneda Ponce, who served at Flournoy Elementary School, presented special corps member remarks. Hear from these two exemplary individuals about their time with City Year Los Angeles.

Those in attendance also heard from City Year Los Angeles Board Co-Chair Mattie McFadden-Lawson, Community School Coordinator at 93rd Street Elementary School Ingrid Villeda and our special guest, actor and comedian Kenan Thompson.

This year’s awards were presented by Michelle Ferrari, our director of AmeriCorps member experience, City Year Los Angeles Co-Founder and Chair Emeritus, Andrew Hauptman, Head of Casting for NBC Universal and City Lear Los Angeles Board Member, Grace Wu, and the Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lani Manos. Check out the complete list of winners below: 

Bronfman Hauptman​ Leadership Award Winners

Jordan Cruz

City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member, NOW Academy

Ariana Fisher

City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member, Markham Middle School

Nicole Keyllian

City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member, Bethune Middle School

Josh Polanco

City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member, 122nd Street Elementary School

Valerie Nicole Villafana

City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member, Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School

Leadership Award, presented by Comcast NBCUniversal

Caleb Codding

City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member, Menlo Ave. Elementary School

Innovative Enrichment Award, presented by Disney

John H. Leichty Elementary School

Storyteller of the Year Award, presented by Sony

Jacqueline Guzman

City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member, Nava College Preparatory

Power Award Winners

Melanie Corral

City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member, Bethune Middle School

Dinah Muhammad

City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member, Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School

Claudia Hernandez

City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member, Jordan High School

Irene Romero

City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member, Belmont High School

Diana Correa

City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member, Stevenson Middle School

Shantel Green

City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member, Civic Engagement Team

Congratulations to our winners and the entire City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps Class of 2021. Your tenacity and dedication to serving your students won’t soon be forgotten.

Couldn’t make it to the event? Watch the full program here.

Related stories

At City Year, service is at the heart of everything we do. But our commitment to our corps members doesn’t...

Read more about Empowering Futures: City Year’s Commitment to Career Development

Our team at Ascot Elementary School had the pleasure of hosting the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten to...

Read more about U.S. DSEd Cindy Marten Visits Ascot ES to Spotlight Impact of Student Success Coaches

Every year, City Year AmeriCorps members in California are given the iconic yellow bomber jacket that they wear every day...

Read more about My Yellow Jacket Story

City Year L.A. has partnered with C5LA to provide college and grad-school application support for current AmeriCorps members. We have...

Read more about Grad School Support for AmeriCorps Members through Our Partner, C5LA
National Strategic Partners
National Partners