Young Heroes is a Saturday leadership development and community service program for 6th-8th graders that is run by City Year corps members. Young Heroes participants learn about the social issues in their community and then work together to solve those problems through hands-on community service. The program starts with Orientation and training in December and then continues for approximately three Saturdays a month from January through May. This year - the 17th year of the program - more than 2,000 middle school students will join the Young Heroes program. To learn more about the Young Heroes program in your area, click here.
WHAT DO YOUNG HEROES DO?
Every Young Hero is placed on a diverse team of 8-12 middle school students from all over the city and suburbs that is led trained Volunteer Team Leaders, many of whom are also City Year corps members. Saturdays begin with the Young Heroes gathering together in the morning to participate in team activities and a special training on that day’s social issue topic. In the afternoon, teams split up across the city to do community service projects that address the issue they learned about that morning. Past Saturday topics have included Hunger & Homelessness, Global Climate Change, Aging and the Elderly, Youth Violence, and Disability Awareness. Most Saturdays end at about 4:30.
Please note that Young Heroes is NOT a drop-in program – those who apply and are accepted are expected to attend consistently.
WHEN DOES THE PROGRAM START?
City Year recruits participants from September through early December of each year, with optional “Fall Service Days” on occasional Saturdays for those who want to come out and see what the program is like before applying. Youth who are accepted must bring a parent/guardian to an Orientation in December. The program’s annual official kickoff is held every January with an Opening Day Ceremony celebration on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The program then continues three Saturdays per month through the end of May.
Contact the City Year location near you for details on Fall Service Days and your local calendar of program dates.
WHAT DO YOUNG HEROES GET?
Besides the satisfaction youth get from doing good deeds for others and meeting new friends, they also gain valuable leadership skills, a free Young Heroes jacket, and the opportunity to earn a President’s Volunteer Service Award! Virtually all schools will count the time in the program toward any community service hours requirement, and completion of the program is a great asset for High School and College applications. And Young Heroes is run by City Year, so youth also get to spend time with caring, trained adult mentors who are positive role models.
WHO CAN JOIN?
Anyone in middle school can apply! The beauty of this program is that there is no experience necessary. All you need is a strong desire to help others and give back to the community, and be willing and able to commit to attending regularly from December through May of this year. Youth can join whether they are in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, and can do the program for up to 3 years!
Please note that not every City Year location offers a Young Heroes program. Contact your local City Year location for more information.
HOW CAN YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW JOIN?
There are three simple steps:
- GET AN APPLICATION: You can click on the link at the top of this page to download an application or call your local City Year site (contact info is on the last page of the application).
- COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION including a PARENT/GUARDIAN SIGNATURE and a RECOMMENDATION (the form is included in the application) and mail it/bring it to your local City Year site.
- City Year will call you for a short INTERVIEW, and once accepted you just need to get ready to attend our Orientation and Hero Training Academy in December!
STILL HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
Contact the City Year location near you to request more information.
BANK OF AMERICA - Young Heroes National Lead Partner
"These Young Heroes are needed to build on the legacy of the dynamic community leaders who came before them - ensuring that our youth are prepared for this important task cannot be underestimated."
- Andrew Plepler
President of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation
In 2004, Bank of America committed to an historic partnership by becoming the first ever National Lead Partner for the Young Heroes program. Bank of America is committed to the economic strength and stability of the communities where they do business, and sees a vital link between the health of their business and the health of the communities in which they live and work. To that end, Bank of America Charitable Investments is focused on the critical local issues that create and sustain thriving neighborhoods - neighborhood leadership and social leadership.
Bank of America is pleased to have become a two year National Leadership Sponsor, City Year's premiere corporate recognition. In addition, they will also serve as the National Presenting Sponsor of the Young Heroes program, helping middle school students nationwide understand social issues facing their community and how they can be part of the solution.
City Year shares a long history with Bank of America and its predecessors. More than 17 years ago, Bank of Boston signed on as a founding sponsor of City Year, Inc. and was the first company in the nation to sponsor a City Year team. In total, Bank of Boston sponsored 38 teams - making it possible for more than 400 corps members to provide 670,000 hours of community service. Bank of America continued this tradition by serving as Presenting Sponsor of cyzygy '04, City Year's national convention of idealism to celebrate City Year's 15th anniversary. They are proud to sustain and build upon this 17-year relationship with City Year and look forward to seeing first hand how they can help shape our neighborhoods.
City Year and the Young Heroes program are deeply grateful to Bank of America for their landmark support of our programs and the communities we serve.
To learn more about Bank of America’s philanthropic philosophy click here.