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Planning for life after City Year differs for AmeriCorps members

Career development at City Year

As the end of the service year is coming to a close, our AmeriCorps members have probably heard their teammates and staff talk about “LACY” or Life After City Year. It can be difficult to job hunt while serving and it can be especially nerve wracking to think about the future—but spring is the time of year when many of us are thinking about next steps.

While it is ideal to have a general idea of what the future can hold, sometimes plans fall through, personal and professional goals change, and things in life just happen. It’s common for people to not have every milestone of their life planned out or met perfectly on schedule.

City Year AmeriCorps members serving in schools

At City Year, we encourage our AmeriCorps members to explore their passions, hone their skills and identify new areas of interest. By graduation from your year of service in May or June, depending on when your local public school year draws to a close, we hope our corps members have a better sense of teamwork, empathy and leadership and the same unshakeable belief in their own potential that they have been striving to nurture in their students.

Thinking about the future can be scary, but City Year is here to support our corps in multiple ways as they transition from full-time service to “the real world.” We strive to provide professional development throughout your service year, making sure you are aware of networking opportunities, services like resume editing, scholarships to further your education and guidance on how you might use your Segal Education Award.

Just as important, you will become one of our 37,000 alumni, with access to resources and a nationwide alum network that can support and help you as you embark on new pathways, whether they be college, career or travel.

teal high five

How does City Year prepare young adults for careers in the Covid-era? Check out this story by City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley.

Preparing for the end of your City Year service

It’s no secret that City Year is a great opportunity for future educators. According to our 2020 alum survey, 52% of City Year alums work in the education field.

But, what if your passions lie somewhere else? Our survey data also tells us that almost half of our alums work in a field outside of education.

Your year of service can equip you with a variety of skillsets and knowledge including project management, a newfound understanding about systemic inequities, and teamwork, communication and collaboration. These are all skills that are applicable to a wide variety of fields from law to medicine to tech.

“While my City Year experience was definitely difficult, it was quite impactful on my career,” said Seeta Spence Banfield, City Year Orlando ’13. Seeta is currently a Student Registered Nurse Anesthetist (SRNA) working toward a Doctorate of Nursing Practice at the University of South Florida. “I have learned skills and applied them in every aspect of my life beyond my year of service. I am proud to say, that as an alum, I live and breathe ‘active citizen’ in my daily life.”

Every corps member’s LACY plan is unique to them and that’s okay—in fact, it’s the way it should be.

Whether you have your life after City Year plans set before graduation day or need more time to explore, we encourage AmeriCorps members to reflect not only on the professional skills they have gained but also how they have personally grown. Many corps members leave service with long-life connections with their students, teammates and City Year site staff.

Staying connected with City Year’s alumni network

After your year of service is over, we encourage everyone to continue staying connected with each other. If you reside in or near any of the cities we serve, you can sign up for an event like MLK Day of Service or volunteer for an alumni panel.

The City Year Alum Association also offers an online community through LinkedIn and Facebook or follow all things alumni news on Instagram. Through this community former AmeriCorps members have been able to stay in touch, find new jobs and explore various professional development opportunities.

Whatever your path after City Year, we are here for you!

Not ready to leave us? Connect with us to learn more or apply for a second year with City Year.

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