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‘Tis the season for spending lots of time with family and friends. While you’re gathered together, it’s likely your loved ones will ask what you’re up to. Whether you’re currently completing your year of national service or getting ready to join City Year next summer, you may be wondering, “How do I explain what I’ll be doing with City Year to my friends and family?”

We’re here to help! Read on for five ways to bring your unique journey of becoming an AmeriCorps member to life, whether it’s by sharing what brought you to City Year or by talking about all of the powerful ways your role will support students on their path to college and career.

Share what a day in your life will look like. 

Throughout the school day, City Year AmeriCorps members build relationships with students by providing whole-class support and individualized tutoring that help students engage in school and succeed.

If you’re currently serving as an AmeriCorps member, talk about the students you’ve worked with. Share some of the things you’ve done this fall in the classroom and within the community. Tell them about your partner teacher and how you work with them.

Bring the conversation back to students and schools.

Remind people that City Year exists because there is a gap between what students need and what schools are designed and resourced to provide. You are working in partnership with teachers to help close this gap, and by showing up to school every day to provide extra support to students, you’re helping students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and beyond.

Although many students in high-need communities face challenges that affect their ability to come to school every day and ready to learn—we know ALL students can succeed.

How to talk about your service with City Year over the holidays with your family and friends

Speak to how City Year AmeriCorps members are mentors and role models.

Every day in the classroom is an opportunity to build relationships with students. City Year AmeriCorps members serve as tutors, mentors and role models, and by providing individualized academic and social-emotional supports, AmeriCorps members help students thrive and improve the school-wide learning environment.

Students who have a mentor are more likely to graduate high school and go on to college. Talk about a student you’ve developed a bond with or ways you’re learning to make one-on-one connections with students so that you can help them feel more connected to school.

Remember what’s unique about the community you’re serving in.

Even if you’re not serving far from home, share what you’re excited to learn or explore during your year of service. Maybe there’s a new restaurant that you want to try, or a local landmark that represents a powerful moment in history. All City Year sites have character and their own vibe that makes them special. Getting to know your (new or current) home a little bit better will help prepare you to make deeper connections with the students and families you’ll work with!

How to talk about your service with City Year when you're home for the holidays with family and friends

Above all, be authentic about what brought you to City Year in the first place.

All AmeriCorps members come to City Year with a personal story—talk about your own journey and what it was that inspired you to want to give back. Be open about what sparks your passion, whether it’s helping the next generation of students, supporting equity in education or making a difference in your community. By being human, authentic, truthful and trustworthy, you embody City Year’s values and lead by positive example. 

The more you open up about your life with City Year, the more City Year is able to grow the inspiring work we do together to help more students and schools succeed. Be proud, be loud. Most of all, be YOU!  

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