AmeriCorps members and alumni at a glance in 2020-2021
3,000 AmeriCorps members
91% of alumni agreed their City Year experience had a significantly positive impact on their lives
Partnering with AmeriCorps members and alumni
During their national service, AmeriCorps members sharpen their skills as leaders, learners, innovators and engaged citizens. By solving problems and celebrating wins with team members from different backgrounds, young people experience firsthand the possibilities and rewards of collaboration and diversity. Helping these young people learn to work together across lines of difference for the common good drives lasting social impact long after their service year ends.
Supporting AmeriCorps members
The well-being of our City Year AmeriCorps members is a top priority. In 2021, we worked to ensure that all corps members received their full stipends and benefits despite disruptions resulting from the pandemic, and laid the groundwork for higher minimum living stipends to help more young adults afford to serve in the future.
Despite all the challenges of 2021, 85% of AmeriCorps members agreed “I am proud to have served at City Year.” Throughout their service, corps members gain professional experience, training, coaching, mentoring and networking opportunities to prepare them for the next step in their careers. Ways that City Year supported AmeriCorps members professionally and personally after the organization pivoted to virtual service and programming in the first full school year following the pandemic included:
- Offering additional mental health resources and more flexibility for AmeriCorps members to help them manage stress and take time for self-care and civic action.
- Resources to help AmeriCorps members and staff build community, ask questions and receive updates.
- Delivering technology and tools to all of our AmeriCorps members, including how to support students with distance learning, and challenges students may face upon return to school.
- Training and onboarding opportunities for new AmeriCorps members through nationally facilitated spaces that foster connection and belonging across our network.
- Providing training related to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and regular opportunities for AmeriCorps members to reflect on their service.
What I loved about my year of service was the diversity of my school team. We came from all different places, backgrounds, and experiences but we found a way to work together and formed friendships across difference.
Alumni prepared to make a difference for students, schools and communities
After serving on diverse teams and building key skills to tackle complex problems, City Year’s 37,000+ alumni lead across a broad range of professions, including government, business, technology, healthcare and education.
For many alumni, national service is a first step toward careers as teachers. Alumni who become teachers have more diverse backgrounds and remain in the profession longer than national averages, in part because their service experience prepares them for what challenges to expect, says City Year’s Jeanette Rojas, managing director of school design.
“Many young adults who serve with City Year develop a deep commitment to students and go on to become phenomenal teachers,” Rojas says.
A new generation of educators
To address a lack of young, diverse talent available to fill teaching positions and high rates of teacher turnover, City Year is widening pathways into education to make preparing for a teaching career more accessible and affordable.
City Year helps AmeriCorps members who express an interest in education explore options and understand educational and other requirements to become a teacher after their service. City Year also has built partnerships with teacher preparation programs and nonprofits including Teach for America and local colleges and universities.
- 52% of City Year alumni work in the education sector as teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, youth practitioners and at education-focused nonprofits, according to our 2020 survey of alumni.
- Based on our 2022 alumni survey, 16%, or an estimated 6,000 City Year alumni, are classroom teachers.
City Year also has developed a small but growing teaching fellowship program aimed at reducing barriers to entry for diverse and committed young adults to become educators. The fellowship allows AmeriCorps members to return for a second year of service, while being concurrently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program. City Year partners with Regis University in Denver and UMass Boston to enable AmeriCorps members in those cities to obtain their master’s in education and their teaching license. In partnership with the University of Rhode Island in 2021, City Year in Providence moved forward with a plan to enable second year AmeriCorps members, whether they’re high school or college graduates, to progress toward their teaching license.
The plan helps make preparing for a career in education more affordable, and alumni who have graduated from the program already are working as teachers.
During 2021, City Year also began working to connect alumni within a particular career sector with each other to learn, share and advance in their professional lives by establishing career-based affinity groups. The growing initiative was the result of alumni feedback and already includes groups composed of nonprofit leaders, and professionals with expertise in human resources, diversity, equity and inclusion.