Serving for a year in schools with City Year Los Angeles may be one of the most challenging things you will ever do, but we think it will also be among the most fun, rewarding and memorable.

But don’t just take it from us. Hear straight from young adults who are currently serving with City Year Los Angeles and our recent alumni. We’re all excited that you’re considering joining our team. 

There’s a reason L.A. is one of the largest cities in the U.S.—it’s beautiful here. We can list plenty of reasons why our city is a fun and cool place to live and work, from great weather to tacos to museums to our amazing professional sports teams, but none of those reasons fully capture the power of making a difference in the lives of students while you develop valuable skills, like problem-solving, data analysis, and project management.  

There is incredible diversity and talent across Los Angeles Unified Schools,  and there is also a need for additional supports to ensure our nearly 700,000 students can succeed. Nearly 60 percent of our district’s students are considered off track in attendance, behavior or academic performance in mathematics or English Language Arts, which research says places them at an increased risk for dropping out of high school. Most of the district’s 600,000 students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, an indicator of economic need.

We know that talent and potential are equally distributed, but opportunity and access to resources are not. Join City Year Los Angeles. Together, we can provide students with the critical resources they need to realize their full potential. 

Take a look at some tips and skills from three current City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps members about how to make your time with City Year count—for you, your team and your students. 

Be prepared to be selfless. 

“I serve not only for the students whose view of their community is shaped by an outside narrative, but for the selfless educators whose daily struggle of motivating their students goes beyond what is expected of them,” says Matthew Valenzuela who is serving at the same elementary school he attended growing up, Stevenson Middle School.

“I am here because of all the selfless mentors/educators that challenged me to grow more than I thought I could while giving so much more than what was expected,” Matthew says. “Knowing that change starts from within, I try to model myself after these Big Citizens to continue to challenge growth within the schools in our community.”

Read on to learn Matthew Valenzuela’s powerful service journey.

Take the time to celebrate diversity. 

“Although I don’t identify the same way as all of my students, I am proud to share my culture with them. Not only can I share my Latinx roots, but I also get to learn about ways that my students’ culture intertwines with mine,” says Yadi Maravillas, AmeriCorps member serving at Carver Middle School.

“I am excited to get to know my students and have them get to know me better in return. I'm also excited to share an appreciation for our cultures and roots, whether it’s speaking Spanish, exploring favorite dishes or how we live -- once others get to know our culture for its beauty and uniqueness, they might have a newfound appreciation and find connections to their own cultures.” 

Read more about how Yadi Maravillas shares her identity with her students and the impact it has had on her service.

You may want to serve another year.

“I continue to serve to give back to my beautiful Los Angeles community,” says City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member Valerie Mercado. “I see my friends, siblings, and the future of Los Angeles in my students. The students at Barack Obama Global Prep Academy hold a special place in my heart, and I want to continue helping them in reaching their full potential.”

See why other City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps members chose to return for a second year of service.

No matter what your background or future career aspirations may be, City Year is a great way to develop skills and strengths that will benefit you both personally and professionally.  

What do you want to learn?

Join us at City Year Los Angeles and find out.

Learn More about City Year Los Angeles

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