Q. How would you describe City Year in your own words?
A. City Year is a service organization that deploys energetic college graduates on to public school campus with the goal of reaching the most at-risk students to help them reach graduation and increase academic achievement. City Year also brings fresh eyes and new initiatives to campus that can have a broader impact on an entire school population.
Q. How have you seen City Year impact the school climate at Roosevelt?
A. City Year does a great job of jumping in and becoming a part of the fabric of the school community. Part of it is presence – you’re a fairly large group that is here on nearly every school day, from very early to late after school. City Year is very visible in your white shirt, khaki pants and yellow jackets. It’s a different model – you’re in the classroom with students, they see you after school, and you’re able to bridge the classroom to after-school gap in a way that no other entity on campus is able.
Q. How does having a City Year mentor in a student’s life make a difference?
A. The phrase "it takes a village to raise a child" comes to mind. The more educated, driven young people we can connect with our young people, the better.
Q. Do you have an example of a student who’s progressed thanks to City Year?
A. Yes – a young man who is mentored by a male City Year, who doesn't have a strong connection with his father, so he's the only male the student has really connected with. This relationship is about growth – it’s not about a change overnight, but rather over time. I’ve seen some stick-to-it-ness from the City Year mentor that has really helped this young man think through situations over time and develop positive habits, such as responsibility and accountability.
Q. What is your hope for the future of City Year at Roosevelt?
A. I hope that City Year’s reach will grow to where every young person who needs their support can get it. I also hope that we will continue to use data to ensure students’ growth is tracked and used to help teachers better understand student needs and help students reflect on their own learning.