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From the desk of Dr. Catherine Cushinberry

Thanks to so many of you who checked on the status of our organization during the government shutdown. We were fortunate that the AmeriCorps funding through the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) was not affected by the shutdown.

Recently, I attended a parent open house at Brownsville Road Elementary. It was an event hosted by the team of our AmeriCorps members serving at the school. The purpose was to create a space where parents could learn more about City Year and meet the young people who have been mentoring and tutoring their children.

During the session, a mother asked how her daughter was doing in her coursework. Morgan, one of our corps members, shared that her daughter had been struggling with math, specifically addition and subtraction. Morgan went directly to a folder and pulled out documents to show the mother examples of her daughter’s work. The mom shared that she had been focusing on multiplication at home, but will now focus back on addition and subtraction and would provide workbooks and at-home support.

This is one example of how our corps members get to know students and become knowledgeable about their performance in attendance, behavior and coursework and provide them with focused support.  It is no surprise to me that our corps members build these powerful relationships. They are with students and have a presence in the schoolhouse from the time students enter the building until the last afterschool program participant leaves the building.

I did not have this type of support when I was a Memphis student, but I am grateful and honored to serve with and lead such dedicated, idealistic young adults. Our work is meaningful and personal. We want students to succeed!

Come visit our schools!

I welcome you to come and visit one of our school sites. Join us at an early morning power greeting to welcome students into the building, or observe corps members in the classroom or during afterschool time. We are truly working to support schools to #makebetterhappen in support of our bright, brilliant and beloved students.

To schedule a site visit, contact Robyn Ford, Development Manager (

Give now to support our service to students, schools and families.

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