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City Year receives $25 million investment to advance educational equity and nurture diverse leaders through national service

BOSTON (March 21, 2022)—City Year today announces a landmark investment in its work to expand educational equity and nurture the next generation of civically engaged leaders—a $25 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

“City Year is deeply grateful to MacKenzie Scott for this gift that will advance our strategic vision to support students furthest from opportunity and to develop diverse leaders through national service,” said City Year CEO Jim Balfanz, a City Year 1994 alumnus. “It’s a testament to the inspirational work and dedication of thousands of AmeriCorps members and staff who serve students and schools across the country and a steadfast belief in the strengths and potential of our young people.”

City Year AmeriCorps members, who are student success coaches, and staff serve in 350 systemically under-resourced public schools across 29 sites, partnering with teachers to provide holistic support to students. City Year also seeks to drive systemic change through policy; equity-focused research collaborations; school design and improvement, including building new pathways into teaching; and by supporting our corps and alumni.

Studies show that schools that partner with City Year are up to two-to-three times more likely to improve in English and math assessments and that the more time students spend with City Year AmeriCorps members, the more likely they are to improve on social, emotional, and academic skills, with students who are furthest behind benefiting the most. Emerging research indicates that schools that partner with City Year also experience greater increases in graduation rates and lower rates of chronic absenteeism than comparison schools.

“We’re incredibly grateful to MacKenzie Scott for her belief in our work,” said Chair of City Year’s Board of Trustees George Nichols III. “We hope her generosity will inspire others to join us in helping to ensure all students have access to the positive relationships and personalized learning experiences that encourage them to persevere through challenges, build on their strengths, and thrive.”

About City Year

City Year helps students and schools succeed, while preparing the next generation of civically engaged leaders how can work across lines of difference. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members, who serve as student success coaches, provide holistic supports to students, classrooms and the whole school. A 2020 study shows that the more time students spend with AmeriCorps members, the more they improve on academic, social and emotional skills—skills that help students thrive in school and contribute to their community.

A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is supported by AmeriCorps, local school districts, and private philanthropy. City Year partners with public schools in 29 U.S. communities and through international affiliates in the U.K. and South Africa. Learn more at cityyear.org.

Contact: Tasha Booker

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