by Brittany White
From City Year to a Career in Social Services
For many City Year AmeriCorps members, a year of service in schools sparks a life-long interest in supporting students and communities. Around 10% of City Year alumni channel this passion into pursuing a career in social work.
"City Year really helped me realize that to get things done today and to make change, you need to be proactive,” said Chad Baker, a City Year Boston alum. “In its essence, that is a lot of what social work is all about, especially at the community level."
Because City Year provides research-based social-emotional training, AmeriCorps members are able to support students in their development as lifelong learners and leaders who strive to reach their aspirations. AmeriCorps members help students set goals focused on improving relationships, decision-making skills and confidence while encouraging students to display acts of positive leadership in school and the larger community. A year (or more) of service with City Year allows our AmeriCorps members to strengthen critical interpersonal and intrapersonal skills that will build them into strong social workers, such as effective communication, empathy, open-mindedness and patience.
Learn more about City Year’s Remarkable Alumni, many of whom enter education and youth-focused fields such as teaching, social work and school counseling after serving with City Year.
Turning a Year of Service into a Master's Degree in Social Work
If you're considering getting a master’s of social work (M.S.W.) degree, you'll be excited to learn that City Year has more than 15 university partners nationwide that waive application fees for and offer tuition scholarships to City Year alumni.
Here are four high-ranking programs with amazing scholarship opportunities that you should consider:
Tulane University | School of Social Work
New Orleans, LA
The Tulane University School of Social Work is a leading MSW program, which focuses on relationship centered, clinical-community practice as well as promoting social and economic justice. Every year, they award two City Year Alumni with 25% annual tuition scholarships, making this high-quality education in a world-class city, more affordable.
University of Pennsylvania) | School of Social Policy & Practice
Located in Philadelphia, PA, the University of Pennsylvania’s Masters of Social Work program puts an emphasis on interdisciplinary work and social justice, encouraging its students to seek out opportunities on a local, national and international level. Each year, The University of Pennsylvania awards $30,000 (valued at $15,000 a semester) for up to two City Year AmeriCorps alumni or staff members plus one annual $18,750 scholarship towards the one-year Advance Standing MSW.
University of Houston | Graduate College of Social Work
Committed to achieving social, racial, economic and political justice, The University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work (GCSW) prepares its students for careers in practice as well as research through innovative pedagogy and meaningful community engagement. GCSW awards two 50% annual tuition scholarships for City Year AmeriCorps alumni and staff members who matriculate into the on-campus program full time.
University of Southern California (USC) | School of Social Work
Los Angeles, CA and online
The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work is among the top accredited social work graduate programs in the country. USC awards six $15,000 Master of Social Work scholarships to City Year alumni, which can be applied toward tuition cost for their full-time on the ground or online MSW program. If you don't earn the City Year scholarship, you will still be considered for a Service Scholarship (valued at $3,750 per semester).
If you're interested in returning for a second year of service, all four of these programs will allow you to defer your enrollment for a year. For a full list of our University Partners and social work partner programs, visit our Career Center on the alumni website.
City Year’s unique model that prioritizes the social-emotional learning of its students alongside academic success grants our alumni a unique opportunity to jumpstart a successful career in social service.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in 2017. It was updated and reposted here in 2019.