Our upcoming annual organization-wide conference next week - Summer Academy - has been built around this year's theme of "Idealism in Education: A Pathway to Social Justice." At City Year, we define “idealism” as having the passion, skills, and courage to work toward changing the world. We harness this idealism via national service to help students and schools succeed.

As a community of idealists serving in the field of education, we bring the perspective that a quality education, along with the myriad experiences and interactions of a school day, are critical links in the struggle toward a more just, more equitable society. Every day in our service, we strategize and take action to meet benchmarks for consistent attendance, for positive changes in behavior, and for increased academic proficiency, yet our long-term goals go much further than a single semester or school year. Underlying those concrete student improvements, we strive for lasting changes in students’ social emotional skills and motivation and ability to achieve, for civically engaged and well-resourced communities and families, and for a level playing field for all members of our country. We have diligently crafted a Long-Term Impact plan that will guide us to achieve these ambitious, critical goals of not only helping improve educational outcomes but of subsequently creating a more just nation.

This Summer Academy, we will deepen our engagement with how our idealistic daily service in schools contributes to a much larger effort to create a more equitable and bright future for our students, our corps, and generations to come. Ahead of Academy, we asked our staff to reflect on "Idealism in Education: A Pathway to Social Justice" via social media. See below some highlights of reflections from across our 27 sites.

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