2016-07-05

City Year has built its annual, week-long Summer Academy as an opportunity to strengthen the work we do so that it is “built to last.” Each summer, we bring together a team of idealists - made up of recently graduated Senior AmeriCorps Members and staff members from different sites for two months - to build and execute Summer Academy. This team builds on the foundation of previous Summer Academies, partners with leaders and facilitators from across the network and stands on the shoulders of the giants who have previously served on this team. The team this year is made up of 34 members (24 City Year Alumni), 24 sites represented and a cumulative 160 years of City Year experience. Eleven directors are leading the 2016 SAT. We asked each director what the Summer Academy theme - Idealism in Education: A Pathway to Social Justice - means to them.

 

Abby Hildabrand- Director of Registration 

Proudly representing:
Headquarters 
What I do on the team:
​Lead on creation and management of the online registration system and in person check in for Summer Academy
My favorite part of CY culture:
​PITWs - they are useful in so many different situations!
What this year's theme means to me:
To me, education creates equal access to pathways for people to pursue their goals and to become successful in life, whatever that means for them. By giving people the opportunity to achieve their goals, education makes way for a more equal and just society where one's trajectory is not pre-determined nor pre-ordained based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation, zip code, or membership in any other identity group.

 

Bess Chuang - Director Of Content Management and Evaluations

Proudly representing:
Headquarters 
What I do on the team:
M​y primary responsibilities are with cyconnect (from a content collaboration/management stand-point) and evaluations (session surveys and post-conference survey).  I love seeing how the feedback from years past have translated into enhancements we are currently exploring and implementing for the network. ​
My favorite part of CY culture:
​PITW #46: Be a Clock Builder, Not Just a Time Teller.
What this year's theme means to me:
​Idealism suggests a sense of hope, a commitment towards progress, and faith in humanity at its best. The pathway to social justice calls for all these things -- and often times, it requires new pathways in our minds. It calls upon us to recognize and challenge our implicit biases, to question the status quo, to reach across to folks whom we may not naturally gravitate, and a resolve to continue on in the fight inspite of the seeming insurmountable obstacles. Social justice has always been a value of mine and I'm proud that City Year is addressing this full on in a space that engages the majority of our FY17 workforce.

Chad Richardson- Director of Culture and Community 

Proudly representing:
Headquarters 
What I do on the team:
​I lead the team members who create the spaces  our paticipantes all experince.  This includes General Assembelis, Unity Rally and Summer Academy's Look and Feel.
My favorite part of CY culture:
​The community of support that we create for the people doing our work.
What this year's theme means to me:
​I think there are many different ways that individuals are able to work towards social justice and education is on realm of social justice work that empowers individauls to influence other realms of Social Justice.  I am proad of the idealism that City Year brings to the education space​

 


 

Charlie Rose- Summer Academy Director 

Proudly representing:
One City Year 
What I do on the team:
​Summer Academy Director and Weather Committee
My favorite part of CY culture:
​Strong Circle and all of our values
What this year's theme means to me:
​I am proud that we are exploring our direct connection to Social Justice.  For me the theme is a question: How is Idealism in Education a Pathway to Social Justice?

 


 

Frankie Donlon- Digital Content Director 

Proudly representing:
Headquarters 
What I do on the team:
​I work on the Culture and Community Team. My job is to bring to life the Summer Academy Experience through Photos and Video. I support in making all the videos for Academy! 
My favorite part of CY culture:
PITW #132 Inject creativity into E v e r y t h i n g.​​​​
A little creativity goes a long, long . . . l o o o o n g w a y. After you have planned something, step back and do a quick “creativity check” by asking, “where are the real creative parts to this?” If you can’t find the creativity, go back and inject some.
 

 

Kat Walsh- Professional Development Experience Director 

Proudly representing:
Headquarters 
What I do on the team:
​I get to work with an awesome team who support the OpEx, Devo, NELC, RAD & CE tracks, as well as the on-boarding experience manager and the PD manager for SA. Together we are working with track leads from all departments to help create a super engaging and inspiring SA experience for everyone. 
My favorite part of CY culture:
​The people. The teamwork. The positive can-do attitudes. The kindness. The ubuntu. The MISSION. 
What this year's theme means to me:
​Education is a huge social justice issue and one that needs to be addressed NOW. EVERY child deserves access to a high quality school where they can learn and grow into the amazing people they were born to be.

 

Kristopher Capello- Director Of ProServe Experience 

Proudly representing:
Headquarters 
What I do on the team:
​As Director of ProServe Experience, I have the privilege of convening content designers and facilitators to build out the learning in the ProServe track.
My favorite part of CY culture:
​The wheel of idealism (Imagine, Recruit, Transform and Inspire) is such a powerful framework to understand the process of effecting change and is applicable to so many situations from building community with students to broad-based social movements.
What this year's theme means to me:
I understand the theme as a powerful challenge and source of inspiration - it demands we understand and reckon with the power of education as a critical component of social justice.

 


 

Lisa Chazanovitz- Special Projects Director 

Proudly representing:
Headquarters 
What I do on the team:
​​I support SA Team operations & and overall Academy budget
My favorite part of CY culture:
​the power of team work

 


 

Shawn Tuttle- Learning Experience Director 

Proudly representing:
the network 
What I do on the team:
I help to ensure the most inspiring, empowering, and impactful Academy learning experience possible.
My favorite part of CY culture:
​Just one?! Double D Stomps.
What this year's theme means to me:
Being in service to education as a key civil rights issue of our time.

 


Talia Bender- Events Operations Director 

 

Proudly representing:
New York 
What I do on the team:
As the Event Operations Director, I get to work with a fantastic team of 6 who work to create a seemless experience for participants and those planning sessions. My team collaborates closely with Northeastern and oversees housing, travel, dining, session logistics, materials and more! 
 
My favorite part of CY culture:
Teamwork! I love collaborating, learning from others and seeing teams come togehter to achieve what they couldn't accomplish alone. I also appreciate the idealistic spirit and the fact that it is an explicit part of the culture to reject cynicism. 
What this year's theme means to me:
This year's theme speaks to the fact that we have a long way to go to achieve equity in our society. It's not a simple task, and the path may be obstructed, however, our belief in the power that AmeriCorps Members can have on students, schools and communities will help us forge forward to make progress in our education system and society as a whole. With all of the recent acts of violence, police brutality and racism that's been brought to the surface in the last few years, it can be difficult to stay idealistic; however, each success we have in our service can be a step forward on the path towards achieving a beloved community and more just society. 

 


Vanessa Danziger- Director Of Communications 

Proudly representing:
HQ, Los Angeles 2012, Providence 2011 
What I do on the team:
​As Director of Communications on the Summer Academy Team, I partner with Communications Coordinator, Christina Bowerman, on all things communication -- from the Summer Academy cyconnect public site and​ posted materials/resources to network-wide communications and social media coverage on @cylearning. 
My favorite part of CY culture:
​PITWs! 
What this year's theme means to me:
​Equal access to a quality education is a necessary piece of the puzzle to our work - critical to our goal of achieving social justice for all. 

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