A year of national service with City Year will challenge, inspire and stretch you and the students you work with every day. You will not only learn a lot about your students’ potential and strength, but also your own abilities and willpower as well. We’re so excited that you’re considering joining our team.
Serving in Kansas City is special. We can list plenty of reasons why our city is a fun and cool place to live and work, from jazz to NASCAR, barbecue to history.
But none of those reasons fully capture the power of making a difference in the lives of students while you learn to both serve and lead.
Across Kansas City Public Schools, nearly 50 percent of students entering ninth grade are considered off track in attendance, behavior or academic performance in mathematics or English Language Arts, which research says places them at increased risk for dropping out of high school. Most of the district’s 15,000 students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, an indicator of economic need, and there is also much cultural and linguistic richness. More than 50 languages are spoken by students.
In America, we know that talent and potential are equally distributed. But opportunity and access to resources are not. Join City Year Kansas City. Together, we can make a difference for Kansas City’s students.
Take a look at some advice, tips and skills offered by City Year AmeriCorps currently serving in Kansas City and across our network of 29 US cities about how to make your time with City Year count—for you, your team and your students.
Your City Year teammates become your second family
“City Year Kansas City is a great place to serve because we are a small but tight-knit corps that serves as a second family away from home,” Sharita Wright, a native of Kansas City who has served local schools as a City Year AmeriCorps member for the past two years, says. “Our staff are extremely supportive and have gone above and beyond to make sure our corps have everything they need to have the best experience possible.”
Read five tips about how to succeed on a team from second-year City Year AmeriCorps member Valarie Kemp, who is currently serving at Merrydale Elementary School in Baton Rouge. Hint: patience and time management are key!
Take advantage of local benefits and perks that help your stipend stretch farther
“City Year Kansas City’s staff have created partnerships with organizations that have provided all of us with vision and dental benefits and fun activities like trips to NFL games, skating rinks and arcades,” Sharita says. “Kansas City has affordable housing for those living on stipends and convenient transportation that reaches all of the schools we serve in.”
Find more tips on how to live on a stipend.
“Having health benefits through City Year was already a plus, so it was an incredible opportunity for AmeriCorps members serving in Kansas City to receive dental cleanings and x-rays free of charge. Now the site has expanded their local health benefits in the areas of vision and mental health as well, so AmeriCorps members serving in KC get a full package!”“I felt so fortunate to have the chance to receive free dental work from a dentist and City Year champion whose daughter served with CYKC - what a perk!,” says Ty Sheets, a City Year Kansas City alumnus who joined the staff as an Impact Manager this year.
Check out all the benefits of being a City Year AmeriCorps member, including an education award to pay off past or future student loans.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help planning your future after City Year.
“Everyone here at City Year Kansas City takes an interest in what you want to do both during and after your year of service,” says Brit Behrle, a Team Leader who has served with City Year Kansas City for the past two years. “The staff at this site will help you build your resume and cover letter. They will connect you with others in the field you want to go into and they will write you recommendations. They will help with applications to jobs and schools. Do not be afraid to ask the staff for help!”
City Year alumni thrive in a broad range of professions, including business, policy, law and heath, and 47 percent of respondents to a 2018 alumni survey reported they worked in the education sector as a teacher, administrator, guidance counselor or at an education-focused nonprofit.
“If you are interested in working in education after City Year, this site has connections with TFA and teaching residency programs like Kansas City Teaching Residency (KCTR),” Brit says. “They can connect you with programs or other resources and help you prepare for interviews and the application process. They want to help you succeed in your life after City Year as one of our alumni.”
No matter what your background is, City Year is a great way to develop skills and strengths that will benefit you both personally and professionally.