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Comcast NBCUniversal Leadership Awards honor City Year alumni for 15th Year

City Year AmeriCorps alumni recognized as leaders, educators and social justice activists

BOSTON, MA (July 16, 2019)– Five City Year alumni received Comcast NBCUniversal Leadership Awards at the 15th annual ceremony to recognize their ongoing work to make a difference in our communities through their longtime commitment to serving others.

Since 2005, Comcast NBCUniversal has recognized 77 City Year alumni working in fields including youth development, social justice, government, business and education. Winners each receive a $1,000 Leadership Grant to support their endeavors. This year’s honorees accepted the awards at a ceremony on July 15. The winners are:

  • Matt Axelrod (City Year Boston ’88), partner at Linklaters LLP, for decades of public service in the federal government including as a judicial law clerk to two different federal judges, an assistant U.S. attorney in Miami and principal associate deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice.
  • Robert Barnett (City Year Seattle ’10), co-founder and chief operating officer of The Modern Classrooms Project, which empowers teachers to leverage technology in creating classrooms where all students truly learn, for his service as a classroom teacher and his dedication to advancing educational equity for students.
  • Imran Siddiquee (City Year San Jose/ Silicon Valley ’08), communications director at MediaJustice and collaborator with the South Asian American Digital Archive in Philadelphia, for their work as a writer, filmmaker and activist challenging limiting representations of race and gender in popular media.
  • Laura Toni-Holsinger (City Year Boston ’04), executive director of United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, Virginia, for her commitment to social justice as a leader in the nonprofit sector and her work to build networks of services to increase their collective impact in the community.
  • Alissa Ziemianski (City Year Cleveland ’99, Seattle ’00), operations and marketing director, Chico, California-based Chico Natural Food Cooperative, for helping to organize local Camp Fire relief and recovery efforts and volunteer community networks.

“These alumni, several of whom I have worked with over the years, have invested their time and expertise over many years to make a lasting difference in their communities,” said Jim Balfanz, City Year President and City Year Boston alumni of the ’94 corps. “I’m proud that each of them has been recognized with a Comcast NBCUniversal Leadership Award to celebrate their achievements and their commitment to serving others in a way that embodies the spirit of City Year.”

“Comcast NBCUniversal is proud to recognize these leaders, who join the other outstanding City Year alumni who have earned this award over the past 15 years,” said David L. Cohen, senior executive vice president and chief diversity officer of Comcast Corp., and City Year Board of Trustees chair. “Their leadership shows how the City Year experience can help young adults see the profound difference they are capable of making in a community–and then make that spirit of serving others an integral part of their lives.”

Since 2005, City Year alumni presented with the Comcast NBCUniversal Leadership have included educators, a mayor, physicians and public health specialists, corporate social responsibility leaders, an immigration rights lawyer, community and economic development professionals, nonprofit leaders and City Year staff members.

In 2018, City Year and Comcast NBCUniversal entered into a three-year partnership renewal agreement, bringing Comcast NBCUniversal’s overall support of City Year to nearly $115 million cash and in-kind donations. Comcast NBCUniversal is a City Year National Strategic Partner that supports City Year’s national strategy to bring more computer science and coding experiences to students served by City Year, and also supports leadership development and training efforts.  Additionally, in the 2018-19 school year, Comcast NBCUniversal, in partnership with Red Nose Day, sponsored 23 school-based teams of City Year AmeriCorps members in 17 cities.


About City Year

City Year is a Boston-based nonprofit dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members provide support to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and success in career and in life. Research shows that schools that partner with City Year were as much as two-to-three times more likely to improve on math and English assessments. A member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, local school districts, and private philanthropy from corporations, foundations and individuals.

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses:  Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky.  Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest video, high-speed internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses.  It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand.  NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts.  Sky is one of Europe’s leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services.  It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed internet, phone, and wireless services.  Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights.  Visit for more information.




Tina Chong

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