A message to our supporters
This annual report is a look back at our work in 2020-2021, a year of creativity and resilience.
What City Year has learned during the COVID-19 pandemic
While the pandemic has continued to be unprecedented in scale and duration, this challenging period has created many new opportunities for the City Year community to learn, reflect and innovate.
Even as disruptions persisted in the 2020-2021 school year, City Year AmeriCorps members, in partnership with teachers and other school staff, continued to provide students with a sense of consistency, safety and connection, helping to build their confidence and resilience and strengthen a sense of belonging—elements that are necessary for maximum learning and development to happen.
The disruptions created by the pandemic since March 2020 have taught all of us in the education and youth development sectors even more about how and why a holistic approach to supporting students and schools is essential—both to ensure students are able to re-engage with their learning and also to advance educational equity across our country.
Feedback from our partner teachers and principals has underscored the ways we are helping schools during COVID-19 and prompted us to rethink ways we think about and measure student growth and development.
This feedback has also helped to guide changes and refinements to our services and our support and training for our AmeriCorps members. We’re fortunate to have several research partnerships that are deepening our understanding of our holistic approach and impact and their connection to equity.
We’ve also been able to raise the biweekly stipend across our network for the 2022-2023 school year, providing more equity and support for AmeriCorps members.
We are grateful for these collaborations, the continuous learning we are all engaged in, the support and generosity of our investors, and, most of all, the inspiration we receive from the students and schools we serve and the remarkable young adults—student success coaches—who show up for children every day. Learn more about our impact below.
Michael D. Smith, CEO of AmeriCorps
Smith, who brings to the federal agency expertise and leadership skills honed during a career dedicated to social justice and public service, shares with City Year his vision for AmeriCorps, his experience seeing the power of AmeriCorps in action at a young age, and the importance of national service to our democracy.
Mark Donovan, president of the Kansas City Chiefs
For the Kansas City Chiefs, supporting education was a natural step for a team inspired to give back to its community. The Chiefs, together with other NFL teams, also helped bring City Year to the attention of the league’s social justice initiative, Inspire Change.
City Year has pivoted on a dime to continue to deliver support and services to staff, students and families at [our] high school during the pandemic. They have remained focused and positive. I love having City Year in my building. Their presence makes a difference in the lives of my students.
Meet the chair of our board of trustees, George Nichols III
In November 2021, City Year’s national board of trustees voted unanimously to appoint George Nichols III as chair. Nichols, a committed City Year champion who joined the board in 2016, brings professional experience that spans financial services, public policy and education. He’s president and CEO of The American College of Financial Services. Previously, Nichols served 17 years in senior leadership positions at New York Life, a City Year National Partner, and was Kentucky’s first African American insurance commissioner, regulating a $10 billion insurance industry. Because of his bold leadership to promote upward mobility and wealth creation for Black America, he was recently included in For(bes) The Culture 50 Champions. We are grateful for his outstanding leadership and deep commitment to our mission.
Nationally and locally, our board members and our management executive committee help City Year advance educational equity through the power of national service.