be_ixf;ym_202104 d_21; ct_50 Learn more about City Year’s response to COVID-19

National service can help young people find jobs

City Year AmeriCorps in school service

National service with City Year

National service will be more important than ever for young people navigating an unstable labor market caused by the pandemic, City Year’s CEO Jim Balfanz says.

AmeriCorps is key to providing young adults with jobs and opportunity

During their year or more of service, City Year AmeriCorps members strengthen critical skills like teamwork, communication and problem solving sought after by employers. They receive 300+ hours of training, and receive benefits and access to exclusive scholarships that pave the way for the next step in their career. These professional growth opportunities will be especially valuable as the country emerges from the effects of the pandemic.

“It’s a double win for society to invite young people that may not be able to get a job to serve for a year or two in AmeriCorps to help children and families,” says Balfanz, who is a 1994 alum of City Year Boston.

More than 75,000 men and women participate annually in the network of AmeriCorps national service programs, including 3,000 City Year AmeriCorps members who serve in public schools. AmeriCorps and other public-private partnerships can play an important role in ensuring resources are deployed effectively to help the country weather the effects of COVID-19, Balfanz said at a recent roundtable discussion with other nonprofit leaders hosted by Comic Relief USA, a City Year partner that works to end child poverty during its annual Red Nose Day campaign.

Check out four law schools that offer scholarships to City Year alums.

For thousands of young adults who may be graduating from college without a commencement ceremony, missing out on job interviews this spring, or feeling anxious about what the future holds, a year or two of national service offers meaningful work, being part of a diverse team, and gaining transferrable skills while helping a community to thrive.

Following school closures, educators are working to reengage students and overcome  technological and infrastructure hurdles for online learning, Balfanz says. School partners also are looking for ways AmeriCorps members can support students and teachers virtually.

Shifting to virtual service in spring 2020

Meanwhile, City Year AmeriCorps members have shifted to virtual training programs, are receiving their stipend and benefits, and will earn the full value of their education award as part of a congressional stimulus package passed in late March. Some school districts also are beginning to offer online learning that corps members can support. When schools reopen, City Year AmeriCorps will help students recover lost learning time and rejoin their school communities.

Learn more about applying to City Year

School shutdowns abruptly cut off students from positive and consistent relationships with corps members and partner teachers. These developmental relationships build social, emotional and academic skills that help students stay on track to graduate, prepared for college and career success. City Year serves 350 systemically under-resourced schools where many students qualify for free lunches.

“This disruption to learning is something we’re going to have to be very serious about tackling as a society,” Balfanz says.

If you or someone in your life who is 18-24 years old is looking for a challenging and rewarding experience, consider applying to City Year to serve in public schools for the 2020-2021 school year.

When schools reopen, City Year AmeriCorps members will have a critical role in helping students reconnect with their school community. Connect with us to learn why our students need you now more than ever.

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