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Frequently asked questions

Application

Application deadlines

October 4 deadline
  • Reference form due October 11
  • Notified of our decision by November 1
  • Decide to accept your invitation to serve by November 15
November 15 deadline
  • Reference form due November 22
  • Notified by our decision by December 20
  • Decide to accept your invitation to serve by January 10
January 24 deadline
  • Reference form due January 31
  • Notified of our decision by February 21
  • Decide to accept your invitation to serve by March 6
March 6 deadline
  • Reference form due March 13
  • Notified of our decision by April 3
  • Decide to accept to your invitation to serve by April 17
April 17 deadline
  • Reference form due April 24
  • Notified of our decision by May 15
  • Decide to accept your invitation to serve by May 29
May 29 deadline
  • Reference form due June 5
  • Notified of our decision by June 19
  • Decide to accept your invitation to serve by June 26

What is required to complete the program and receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award?

To receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, an AmeriCorps member must complete 1,700 hours of service, all City Year-required competencies and serve through the program’s graduation date.

What criteria are used in the selection process?

The role of an AmeriCorps member is tremendously rewarding but far from easy, which is why we’re selective with our application process. City Year AmeriCorps members are as diverse a group as the communities where they serve. We seek applicants with leadership experience, experience working with children or youth, experience with and a desire to build inclusive communities and a willingness to grow and learn. In addition, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED by start of service
  • Be able to dedicate 11 months to full-time service
  • Be between the ages of 17 and 25
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident alien
  • Have served no more than three terms in another AmeriCorps, NCCC or VISTA program
  • Agree to a background or security check

Who can I use for my reference?

We ask that you provide us with one professional reference, which can be anyone who has supervised you in a professional setting (i.e. manager, professor, supervisor, etc.). Please refrain from using family members or friends as your reference.

I received an email about recommending a City Year applicant but have lost or deleted the email. How can I get another email with a unique link to get to the recommendation page?

If you have lost or deleted the email containing the unique link to the City Year recommendation page, please contact our Recruitment team at joinus@cityyear.org.

Can I apply to more than one location at a time?

City Year is one national organization with 29 locations nationwide. You may select your location preference and up to three additional locations.

If you are willing to serve anywhere, you should apply to “serve where most needed” and you will be placed at the site with the most open positions at the time.

If you would like to stay within a region of the country, you should choose that region and you will be placed at a site within that region that we believe will be the best fit for your skills, experiences and our sites’ needs at the time you submit.

If you are deciding between a couple of sites, we encourage you to learn more by reading about our various locations or contact recruitment staff until you find one site that meets your needs.

What does “serve where most needed” mean and how is the process different?

The “serve where most needed” option was created for individuals who truly have no location preference or feel that they would simply like to serve where their skills are most needed. After selecting the “serve where most needed” option on your City Year application, you will be invited to interview at the site City Year deems most fits your experience and qualifications and the site’s specific needs. You must to be willing and able to relocate to any City Year location across the country.

If I apply to a region, how is the process different?

The regional application process is for individuals who would like to stay within a particular region of the country and have no location preference within that region. After selecting the region you would like to serve on your City Year application, you will be invited to interview for placement at one of the sites within your selected region. You must be willing and able to relocate to any City Year location within that region.

How do I apply to City Year London or South Africa?

City Year UK and South Africa are international affiliates and are not City Year sites- they have their own application processes that do not overlap with the US application process. City Year Johannesburg requires that applicants be citizens of South Africa. City Year UK requires that you have legal right to live and work in the European Union before applying.

If I am not offered an AmeriCorps member position, can I reapply for the next deadline? Can I apply to another City Year location?

Unfortunately, you cannot reapply during the same year, even to another location. You are welcome, however, to reapply the following year. We encourage applicants who were not admitted continuing serving their community and strongly suggest that they explore other AmeriCorps or service programs in their local area or preferred region. Continued and demonstrated experience with service, tutoring, mentoring, or leadership all help to strengthen your candidacy, should they choose to re-apply to City Year for the following academic year.

Service experience

When do City Year AmeriCorps members start service?

The term of service for AmeriCorps members begins in late July or early August of each year. Exact dates vary by location and generally follow the local school year calendar.

How is City Year related to AmeriCorps?

City Year is a proud member of AmeriCorps and is one of the largest AmeriCorps programs in the country. AmeriCorps is a federally funded network of national service programs that engages Americans in service to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health and the environment.

What are some of the general challenges during your service year? How do you cope?

At City Year, you typically work anywhere between 10-12 hours each day. Those are long days. Despite all of the awesome work you are doing, naturally lengthy hours can catch up with you. Some days will be more challenging than others, but in those tough moments, leaning on your teammates is immensely beneficial. Each team makes it a point at the end of the day to debrief and meet together. Ending on a positive note is prioritized before you leave the school.

At City Year, you will be coached on how to troubleshoot and be solution-oriented. You will receive frequent feedback when reaching out to your teammates and staff about challenges you face in your service whether it’s about life-work balance, a tough student or meeting a deadline. It’s also important to remember to utilize your weekends to relax and reflect. You will do a lot of important and fulfilling work during the week, so finding time on the weekends to rest your body and mind will only get you ready for the next week ahead.

How do AmeriCorps members and teachers work together?

City Year AmeriCorps members are not teaching aids or assistant teachers. City Year AmeriCorps members are near-peer mentor who work in tandem with teachers to ensure every child in the classroom is receiving the academic and personal investment they require in order to develop. AmeriCorps members and teachers will regularly meet on a weekly- if not daily- basis to review lessons and students’ progress throughout the year. AmeriCorps members are always updated on upcoming projects and homework assignments so that when they see their students during the afterschool program, they will be able to best assist them during their extended learning time.

Oftentimes, teachers have classrooms filled with 20-30 students. Despite how amazing the teacher may be, you can imagine how difficult it is to reach every single student and ensure each one is receiving the help they need in order to excel. City Year AmeriCorps members and teachers create a list of students (called a focus list) and identify those students who will need to be tutored either one on one or in a small group setting during their math and literacy blocks. Students will receive the extra support they need to meet their specific needs in the classroom by the AmeriCorps member.

Teachers appreciate the continuity of the service AmeriCorps members provide to their students.

Will I be able to share what I am passionate about with my students?

Absolutely! AmeriCorps members are always encouraged to share their passions and interests with our students, particularly in the afterschool space. In many of our locations, AmeriCorps members write lesson plans for the afterschool program and create clubs. Students’ love of learning will strengthen when you teach them something you genuinely love, especially if it is something brand new. AmeriCorps members get really creative – chess clubs, acting clubs, step clubs, world cup soccer clubs, origami clubs, french cuisine clubs – the sky’s the limit! Bring your passion to your service.

During small group or one-on-one tutoring, if you have creative ideas to teach a lesson to a student that involves role playing, drawing pictures, or even singing, then by all means go for it! There will be a point in time during your service that you will know your students well enough that you’ll know how to teach them in a way that will help them learn best.

How do you know you’ve made a difference in the life of a student?

City Year does a great job collecting quantitative and qualitative data that reflects the effectiveness of the service AmeriCorps members are doing on a daily basis. We track students’ grades, test scores, and attendance as well as survey students on their attitudes towards school, their peers and City Year AmeriCorps members.

On a personal level, AmeriCorps members are constantly building trust and healthy relationships with the students they are serving.

How do families feel about AmeriCorps members?

We how that families of the students we serve are just as involved in our service as the teachers. We communicate with parents and guardians regularly to make sure students are attending school and also to update them on their child’s academic and behavioral progress. We also make a strong effort to engage parents and family members to attend City Year events at school and within the community. We have found that the more invested parents are in their child’s school experience, the more enthusiastic and excited students are to attend school and excel in the classroom.

Is it possible to work and attend school while serving as a City Year AmeriCorps member?

Serving as a City Year AmeriCorps member is a full-time position Monday through Friday. It is possible to work an additional job or attend school during the evenings or weekends, but it is expected that all City Year AmeriCorps members prioritize their City Year service.

Benefits

What will I be paid?

As an AmeriCorps member you receive a bi-weekly living stipend. To help you learn to manage with limited income, we provide training and resources for managing personal finances. You can contact your prospective location for more information.

Can my student loans be deferred while I am serving with City Year?

Yes, in most cases. For specific information, please see the benefits page.

Will I receive vacation, holidays and sick days?

Yes, you can request up to 12 personal days to use as needed. You will also receive time off for most national holidays.

Does City Year provide housing?

City Year does not provide housing for its AmeriCorps members. We do, however, provide assistance to AmeriCorps members searching for housing, such as contact information for quality rental agencies, recommendations of neighborhoods in which to live and access to an online community where you can contact other incoming corps members also in need of housing.

When you are invited to City Year, one of the first things you will do is join your site’s online community, which is typically a Facebook group. Here you will have the opportunity to connect with your fellow incoming AmeriCorps members and start a dialogue to find housing together.

Will travel expenses be provided for my relocation?

All City Year AmeriCorps members who are relocating 50 miles or more for service can receive a $500 (pre-tax) one-time relocation payment. In order to be eligible for this benefit, you must have relocated at least 50 miles to start service and be accepted, confirmed and have started service. The $500 (pre-tax) will be processed upon your arrival at your site and will be paid out via direct deposit 2–4 weeks after it is processed

Does City Year provide transportation?

Many of our locations have established partnerships with local public transportation authorities, which allow AmeriCorps members to receive free or discounted transportation passes throughout their year of service. Please contact your prospective location for details.

What colleges and universities augment or match the Segal Education Award?

For a list of colleges and universities that augment or match the education award, visit the AmeriCorps website. You can also visit our university partnership page for a list of all our education benefits, including a list of colleges and universities that provide at least 25% scholarships to City Year AmeriCorps members, alumni and staff.

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