City Year was founded in Boston nearly 30 years ago. In that time, more than 4,500 members have served and supported this community. Every year we commit ourselves to improving the experience of our AmeriCorps members and increasing the positive impact they have in Boston.
Our work, from the support provided to students each day, to the physical transformation of education and play spaces, is done in partnership with others. We believe in the power of teamwork and collaboration. We value dialogue and creating environments where our differences are supported and celebrated. Your experience will be most rewarding when you have a growth mindset to learn about yourself, your students, partners, and the world around us.
Together, your City Year Boston corps will support more than 12,000 students each day. Using practices shared during training and coaching, you will be able to help students develop social-emotional skills and strengths, become more engaged in learning, and improve their academic abilities. As a tutor, mentor, and role model in a red jacket, you have a great deal of influence on students’ interests and decisions.
Your year of service will be challenging. Outlined below are the ways that City Year Boston will prepare and support you to be an effective agent for change.
In addition to the support and guidance you will receive from your Impact Manager and Team Leader, City Year Boston’s Corps Director serves as the point of contact for all AmeriCorps member policies, support services, and conflict mediation. She works closely with every department to ensure that staff and members have the information and resources to effectively serve, problems are resolved in a timely manner, and feedback from members is used in decision-making.
Our Career Services Manager is a full-time role dedicated to helping all AmeriCorps members explore and plan for success after their year (or two) of service. Specifically, the Career Services Manager supports the various mentoring programs available to members, professional networking events such as Comcast Career Day and 18-Minute Networking, access to college and career partners, and one-on-one career planning discussions.
To help individual members and entire teams with the stresses they may experience during service, or in their personal lives while a member, City Year has partnered with Trinity Counseling in Boston. Free support from a licensed clinician familiar with City Year and your service is available. Information on how to access services, which are confidential, will be shared during your orientation.
City Year members demonstrate a commitment to civic action, educational equity, social justice, and continuous learning. Our Learning and Development program is designed to engage you in experiences which ignite your commitments and interest, and provide you with specific skills you need to enable student achievement. As you are learning, doing, and reflecting, you will also be teaching, observing, and coaching others.
Basic Training Academy (BTA) is a six-week training session at the beginning of the service year. Corps members are trained in academic instruction, behavior management, social justice and identity development, and in other areas that are needed for supporting teachers and students. After BTA, all members can dedicate their year of service to a person, group, or cause that is important to them at the site’s Red Jacket Dedication Ceremony. The following day, the entire corps, surrounded by friends at family, take the City Year pledge during Red Jacket Weekend.
Learning and Development Days (LDDs) are weekly opportunities to build upon the training provided at BTA and continue your growth and development. Depending on the focus of the week’s LDD – skill-building, reflection, team-building – teams may spend time in their school, with a small group of other teams, or with the entire corps.
Once trained and in service, all members will be observed working with students and receive coaching from a City Year staff member. Observations and coaching help members effectively put the information and tools they’ve received into practice with students. Corps members and coaches work together to create plans to help you build your skills, confidence, and comfort.
In addition to regularly scheduled meetings with your supervisor, you will have three formal performance conversations throughout the service year. The first is to establish and review your goals for your work with students. The second is to review progress to date and discuss what support you may need. And the final at the end of the year is to assess progress and ensure you are ready for what is next.
Mid-Year Summit is a week of concentrated learning in the middle of the service year. Corps members work on both personal and professional development and equip themselves with tools and skills to excel in their current work. The week offers career services, classroom trainings, and further social justice-focused trainings, along with team-building activities.
The City Year Boston community will be strongest when members can contribute their perspective, skills and feedback to site-wide projects. There are many opportunities to do so, three of which are highlighted below.
The Corps Council, with representation from each school-based team, meets frequently with the Corps Director and other site leaders to discuss a wide variety of policies and practices. On occasion, the Corps Council leads on the planning or implementation of specific initiatives in addition to being a source of information and feedback on behalf of their teammates.
City Year Boston’s Affinity Groups are opportunities to connect with others who share similar identities and help foster connection and inclusion at the site. For the last three years, staff and corps members have self-organized LGBTQIA+ and Women of Color affinity groups. Both groups have encouraged allies to participate. Groups for Men in Service and high school graduates have recently been established. Future affinity groups will reflect the needs and desires of our community.
Members have additional Leadership Opportunities throughout the year to support a variety of initiatives which benefit greatly from their involvement, and through which they develop transferrable professional skills. Service Reserves engage volunteers in service projects while honing their project planning and management skills. Comms Crew, Red Jacket Society Ambassadors, and the Recruitment and Admissions (RAD) Squad each engage and inspire different stakeholder groups, while developing writing, public speaking, and networking skills with a variety of supporters. Each year the opportunities available reflect the needs of the site and interests of the corps.