Our AmeriCorps members are registered and ready to go! We are so excited to be gearing up for a successful service year in Richland One and Lexington Four. The end of July brought the beginning of Basic Training Academy, or BTA, where our AmeriCorps members go through weeks of intensive training and teambuilding in preparation for their service in schools.

Here’s a recap of BTA so far:

Our AmeriCorps members have been led through a number of trainings by their Team Leaders and staff members. 

They have gotten to learn about the history and culture of City Year, better preparing them for a year of service.

They have also gone in depth about Whole School Whole Child, our in school service model, and how they can best support their students and partner school.

ACMs have also had trainings pertaining to Youth Development, and learned strategies for best engaging the age groups they’ll be working with.

They were also led in a social media and personal branding training, and competed in a social media challenge – shout out to the winners: Ikeia, Latoya, Sara, and Isha!

The corps prepared to support their school with respect to student safety, and have been trained in CPR and first aid.

Some of our impressive alumni came back to the office to share insight and advice with this year's corps during an Alumni Panel. Thank you to Jessica '14, '15, Lindsey '14, Zack '14, '15, Izzi '15, and Robert '15 for joining us!


Throughout BTA, our staff, corps, and partners have been working to establish a sense of community, through various activities and teambuilders.

Some simple ice breakers the teams participated in included The Question Game, Two Truths and A Lie, Mafia, and of course the occasional break time dance party, complete with the Wobble.

Our Village impact team led the first community meeting of the year, sharing Life Works, Starfish Story, Ripples and Joys, and the team report that helped the new corps learn more about their staff and team leaders.

The corps spent a day during BTA to have a quick retreat to the Riverbanks Zoo, where they bonded during a ropes course challenge, and got to explore the zoo.

We also took time to build community with our external partners, and introduced the corps to their 2015-2016 Team Champions.

Colonial Life generously hosted us for a luncheon, teambuilding, and meet & greet. Shout out to this year’s team champions: from BB&T, Drew Schiavone (HPES) and from Colonial Life, Joe Clark (HPES), Amir Abdullah (SES), Angie Miracle (SES), Kevin Pillsbury (JPTES), and Jimmy Valentine (JPTES).

It wouldn’t be BTA without a little service in the mix!

Prior to getting into the schools and getting acquainted with faculty, staff, and administration, our corps spent some time during BTA to do service.

One of the most longstanding City Year traditions and culture pieces is the Unity Rally. Our 2015-2016 AmeriCorps members participated in their first Unity Rally, performing PT at the South Carolina Statehouse.

Our AmeriCorps members joined the staff at our long-time community partner, The Edgewood Foundation, and spent time with the campers to discuss goal-setting and how to achieve your goals. The corps also broke into school teams and led activities with the different age groups, better preparing them for a year of service with students.

Our ACMs also took a break from their heavy training schedules to do some service with EdVenture Children’s Museum. Our corps helped out with EdVenture’s summer camp, supporting their staff and lending an extra helping hand for the summer camp students.

Before the students started back in school, our AmeriCorps members went into the schools to get acclimated to the community, and to meet the faculty, staff, and administration in preparation for a successful service year.

Our JPT team found an old City Year sign from 1999 on their playground – talk about a ripple!


We are so excited to see how our incredible City Year Columbia AmeriCorps members #makebetterhappen in South Carolina this year!

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