Letter from the CEO & Co-Founder
At the center of City Year’s idealistic culture is a growing collection of stories and quotes from many cultures called “Founding Stories” because they are woven into the fabric of City Year’s culture and are a foundation for its work. The Founding Stories are the collective civic values that guide City Year, set the organization on course, and remind us of the most fundamental motivations for our work. Each Founding Story has been a gift to City Year, arriving unexpectedly and instantly recognized as being at home in the organization. At City Year, we define idealism as “the belief that you can change the world and the passion, skills, and courage to do it.” Our Founding Stories are a constant source of influence, inspiration, and motivation. We hope you too will find them useful in your work, share them often, and use them respectfully.
Yours in service,
CEO & Co-Founder, City Year, Inc.
About the 2012 Edition of City Year's Founding Stories
City Year first published this compilation of stories about two decades ago. When we started thinking about this edition, we decided the best way to honor our Founding Stories would be to involve the people most connected to our culture: our corps and the students they work with, staff, alumni and supporters. With that in mind, we held a crowd-sourced art competition called “The Art of Idealism” with the goal to collect new imagery to accompany each founding story in this book. After receiving over 400 pieces from all corners of the City Year community, more than 90,000 visits to the competition website and 7,000 individual votes, the public selected 75 finalists. From that group, a judging panel selected the winner for each story you see in this book.
Among the winners there are nine corps members, five staff members, seven alumni, two students and many friends and supporters. The overall grand prize winners were Diane Joo and Christina Pesavento, ’10 alums of City Year Miami for their piece, “Cathedral Building,” found on page 16. The runner-up winners were Brandon Mclaughlin and Kristan Bate, corps members serving in City Year Los Angeles at The Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools for their piece, “A Ripple,” found on page 60. To find out more about the Art of Idealism visit artofidealism.com.
We hope you find these stories and the beautiful artwork accompanying them as inspiring as we do!
Senior Creative Director, City Year, Inc.
Own Your Own Founding Stories Book
To purchase hard copies of the 2012 Edition Book of City Year's Founding Stories please go to our online City Year store: cityyearstore.com.