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Putting idealism to work in Kansas City

Each morning, Airica, a seventh-grade student in Kansas City, steps onto the bus, ready to tackle her school day. She says her commute can be chaotic, but remains calm knowing that she’ll be welcomed by a familiar face at school. Airica is tutored and mentored by AJ, a City Year AmeriCorps member. City Year partners with urban schools across the country and helps students get the most out of their time in the classroom–keeping them on track to graduate and equipped with the skills to succeed in college, career and life.

On May 1st, Airica joined AJ and over 350 community and business leaders for City Year Kansas City’s inaugural gala to celebrate the power of idealism. Held at The Abbott in the Crossroads, the event honored City Year’s own AmeriCorps members and their service in schools, as well as 19 Idealists of the Year–Kansas Citians who share City Year’s commitment to making positive change in our community.

The event featured a testimonial by AJ, remarks from City Year Kansas City Board Chair and Chief’s President, Mark Donovan, and a fundraiser to support City Year’s expansion into Whittier Elementary for the 2019-2020 school year. The evening was full of energy and inspiration, as attendees were enthusiastically greeted by 58 cheering City Year AmeriCorps members, Central Academy of Excellence’s student drumline and Northeast Middle School’s cheerleaders.

At the end of the evening, the gala raised $470,000. These funds will support City Year’s expansion and will help sustain the programs that impact thousands of kids in Kansas City’s urban core.   City Year defines idealism as having the courage to change the world. City Year AmeriCorps members — all between the ages of 18 to 25 — embody this value by committing a year of full-time service as a mentor, tutor, and role model to students. With the support of the Kansas City community, young idealists just like AJ will have the opportunity to make an impact on the lives of students, including Airica, year after year.


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