Because we understand that we can only achieve our ambitious service impact goals by investing in your development as a leader, we’ve taken a thoughtful, rigorous approach to this dimension of our work.
We’re proud to report that our leadership development model was selected for inclusion in a 2011 textbook designed to present the current state-of-the-art in leadership education; prospective corps members and their families will be pleased to know that our model of leadership development model appears alongside related efforts by celebrated institutions like the Harvard Business School, the Center for Creative Leadership, the Aspen Institute, Goldman Sachs, and others with an enduring interest in developing leaders.
The four elements of the Flame of Idealism are as follows:
DO: This outermost element of the Flame is about taking civic action by providing full-time, front-line service focused on keeping students in school and on track to graduate. Most of your time as a corps member is focused on this element: Actually making a difference in the lives of students in high-need schools.
KNOW: Your ability to have an impact is influenced by this more internal level of the Flame, which develops your civic capacity. This element of the Flame focuses on developing skills related to six civic leadership competencies directly focused on empowering you to deliver high-impact service at City Year and thrive in any career you pursue after graduation.
BE: The innermost level of the Flame is about civic identity. We develop each corps member at this level through a structured reflection curriculum that allows you to focus on the unique personal meaning of your service experience. By developing your clarity of purpose, self-awareness, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence, we develop you as an idealistic leader for life.
CULTURE AND VALUES: City Year’s unique, immersive culture of idealism—which is grounded in our organizational values-- represents a critical fourth element of our leadership development model. Through experiences like wearing a uniform, serving on an inclusive team, learning our founding stories, and mastering power tools that allow large numbers of diverse idealists to work effectively together, we magnify and sustain idealism while promoting civic engagement.