be_ixf;ym_202404 d_22; ct_200 YES! I want to make a difference TODAY!

Meet City Year Detroit Board Chair, Tonya Adair


Tonya Adair is the Chief Development, Diversity, and Engagement Officer at United Way for Southeastern Michigan and City Year Detroit’s Board Chair. Since joining our board three years ago, Tonya has demonstrated her commitment to City Year and the students of Detroit with her enthusiastic support of our AmeriCorps members. We asked Tonya about her inspiration for joining our board, the unique qualities she brings to the table, and her aspirations for the students of Detroit.


Why were you inspired to serve on City Year Detroit’s board?

I truly believe that serving on this board provides an opportunity to contribute to a movement that addresses educational inequity in a way that can literally change the trajectory of life for thousands of Detroit youth, not only today but for years to come.


What unique perspectives or experiences do you leverage in your work as a board member?

As a former school & district leader and current partner of City Year, I bring unique lived experiences that help shape my perspective of the work. I also bring key relationships that help build affinity and support for the organization and its priorities that lead to improved outcomes for students served.


What are your hopes for Detroit students, and how do you see City Year Detroit’s role in realizing them?

I want to see Detroit youth thrive! I want them to have access to quality education that prepares them for success in the future. I want them to have the resources and support needed to thrive academically, socially, mentally, and economically. I want them to become leaders and changemakers in their communities and have fulfilling careers and entrepreneurship roles that contribute to the continued economic growth, prosperity, and legacy of this beautiful city – every part of the city – every neighborhood – every corner. City Year Detroit has a part in helping to create that reality for hundreds of youth every year. Every single life impacted by an AmeriCorps member can influence other lives, scaling that impact beyond the walls of the schools we serve, crossing neighborhood and district boundaries, and creating the change we wish to see through the lives of every student. By serving at City Year Detroit, we not only contribute to an organization, we also contribute to a movement. I’m so happy my fellow board members are committed to this movement and are impacting the lives of Detroit’s future leaders. 


We are grateful for Tonya’s service to the students we serve. Her dedication and passion are propelling City Year Detroit forward. Are you looking for a way to get involved as well? Consider supporting City Year Detroit before the end of the year here.

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