be_ixf;ym_202402 d_23; ct_50 YES! I want to make a difference TODAY!

City Year Alumni Leadership Award Winners 2023

Nearly 40,000 alums make up the City Year network and we are excited celebrate our incredible City Year alumni community through the 2023 City Year Alumni Awards, presented by Truist.

Since 1995, over 131 City Year alums have been honored with the Alumni Leadership Award. We are thrilled this year to celebrate three incredible alums who have continued their commitment to service, and have demonstrated extraordinary achievement, contribution, and/or commitment to working towards social justice, and building stronger communities.

Join us on February 8, 2024 at 5:30 pm ET at City Year Boston for the City Year Alumni Leadership Awards, presented by Truist. Look forward to an evening of celebration as we present this year’s awards and hear from our inspiring honorees. Not able to make it in person? Tune in to our live stream! RSVP today!

line drawing of three City Year AmeriCorp Members with a red accent

Meet the 1995-2023 City Year Alumni Leadership Awards winners.

Dustin LaFont

City Year Baton Rouge ’11

Alumni Achievement Award

As an AmeriCorps member in the 2010-2011 service year, Dustin LaFont was involved in community gardening, tutoring, and community service projects in his neighborhood Old South Baton Rouge. In 2010, Rejay Wilson, a 10-year-old student who lived down the street from Dustin and knew him from riding his bike to community gardens and events, asked Dustin to help him fix his bicycle. Dustin used the tools he had to teach the young man how to fix and repair his bike so he could ride. What Dustin, the student told his brother and friends and a few weeks later 15 kids from the neighborhood visited the front yard of his rent house daily fixing and learning bike mechanics. Neighbors then began to call them the “Front Yard Bikeshop”.

Today, Dustin is the proud Executive Director of Front Yard Bikes (FYB), a youth workforce development program providing safe spaces for youth to learn, grow, and build. FYB offers program in bike mechanics, welding, urban gardening, cooking, riding safety, and providing after school jobs for middle and high school youth who are leaders among their peers.

Through the years, FYB has included over 3000 youth, 12,000 bikes, and millions of life lessons. With 2 after school sites and a full-service bike shop in Mid City, FYB has become the largest community bike shop in the South and hopes to do even more with the amazing youth that champion the good work.

He has been awarded the Barton Rising Star award, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Angel award, the Dorothy Richardson Award for community leadership and was a 2022 CNN Hero. Most importantly, he is a father of three wonderful kids and credits his wife, community, and faith for all his success.

Macey Amissah-McKinney

City Year Sacramento ’13, ’14

City Year Staff Alumni Impact Award

Macey Amissah-McKinney serves as the Senior Vice President and Executive Director of City Year Sacramento. Macey was first introduced to national service in college while serving as a tutor for high school youth in South Central Los Angeles as an AmeriCorps member with the Children, Youth, and Family Collaborative. Upon graduating from the University of Southern California with her B.A. in Social Sciences, she relocated to Sacramento, CA to join City Year Sacramento as a founding corps member in 2012. After serving two years in the corps, Macey transitioned to the staff team as an Impact Manager, coaching and developing a team of 19 AmeriCorps members to deliver targeted intervention support and whole school initiatives focused on student engagement.

Since then, Macey has taken on several roles including Learning & Development Manager, AmeriCorps Compliance Manager, Impact Director, and Managing Director of Impact. A natural strategist and leader, Macey has led the site’s efforts in building an aligned and recursive experience for students, corps members, and staff leading to increased engagement, retention, and impact. Macey has also been instrumental in supporting other local non-profits interested in becoming AmeriCorps programs resulting in more AmeriCorps members being deployed throughout the Greater Sacramento area.

Macey is an extraordinary team builder and leader. Her ability to see her team and create conditions that give them the opportunity to serve in this work from a position of strength has had an extraordinary impact on the success of corps members at the site and our relationships with stakeholders. Macey has remained committed to advancing educational equity and establishing the conditions for young people to thrive. After 12 years, Macey is proud to call Sacramento home where she resides alongside her wife, Rebecca. Outside of City Year, Macey enjoys building Legos, reading, baking, and watching college basketball and football.  Fight On! #GoTrojans

 

Derek Qiu

City Year New York ’19

Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Derek Qiu has been a champion of City Year’s cause since he served with City Year New York. After graduating from Rice University in 2018, he spent two years as a Team Leader at Isaac Newton Middle School in East Harlem. Through City Year’s strategic partnership with Deloitte, Derek had the privilege of participating in the Deloitte Mentorship Program. With the support of Deloitte leaders, Derek eventually joined the firm, where he currently works as a consultant.

Upon joining Deloitte, Derek immediately reengaged with City Year as a member of the City Year New York mentorship team. Over the next four years, Derek sought every opportunity to stay engaged—whether it involved giving back as a mentor, organizing service projects through Deloitte Impact Day, or becoming a member of the City Year New York Associate Board. Through these initiatives, Derek has contributed deeply to strengthening the bond between Deloitte and City Year, providing Deloitte professionals opportunities to get in touch with their sense of purpose, and raising thousands in philanthropic contributions. Most notably, Derek organized a mountaineering charity event as part of his ascent of Mont Blanc (the tallest mountain in the Alps), raising $4,000 between himself and 20 Deloitte supporters

During his time in the corps, Derek was humbled by the passion, determination, and character of his fellow AmeriCorps Members. While everyone’s brand of leadership and service was different, he saw a unifying theme across the Corps that was worthy of recognition. In 2021, Derek had the opportunity to truly give back to Corps Members by providing them with lasting and meaningful job opportunities in the private sector. Alongside numerous City Year and Deloitte leaders, teammates, and supporters, Derek founded the Deloitte Career Catalyzer program, a dedicated recruiting pipeline for City Year Corps Members. Through this program, more than 30 City Year Corps Members have found meaningful employment at Deloitte. In recognition of his efforts in building talent pathways, Derek received an Idealism Award at City Year New York’s 20th Anniversary Gala.

In 2023, Derek had the distinct opportunity to serve on the annual Deloitte Pro-Bono project. During the engagement, Derek worked together with City Year’s executive team to rethink the way City Year organized its financial allocations. In a truly humbling experience, Derek saw himself go from a City Year AmeriCorps member to a business leader engaging in discussions on company strategy.

In the fall of 2024, Derek will attend Stanford Graduate School of Business as part of Deloitte’s Graduate School Assistance Program. Despite relocating from his home base in City Year New York to the other side of the country, he hopes to continue championing City Year’s worthy cause.

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