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Tips for a successful year of service with City Year Tulsa

So, you’re thinking about applying to City Year Tulsa?

Yes! We’re excited to hear you’re interested in joining us at one of the most fun and cool places to be: City Year Tulsa. There are so many reasons why we love this city and think you will, too.

Our work in 29 U.S. cities is fueled by our values and our passion to help the kids we serve achieve at high levels and reach their full potential, both inside and outside the classroom. We’re excited that you might be a part of that 30-year tradition. But before you get going on your application, we want to help you feel prepared for what’s to come. Here are some things we think you should know!

1. Our service is in the education sector, but your career path does not need to be.

People often think that because we work in schools, we only want candidates who are primarily interested in the education sector. Actually, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. We are looking for highly motivated individuals who have diverse interests, career aspirations and skillsets that will translate to working well with students.

Though our alums go on to have successful careers in diverse fields—business, law, government, policy, health, etc.—if you know you don’t like working with children, then City Year might not be the right fit for you. Now, if you’ve never worked with children before but think you’d like to give it a shot—come on down!

2. Our service is full-time.

As a City Year AmeriCorps member, you will be serving in schools full-time. Our AmeriCorps members are at the schools each morning before the students arrive and are there through afterschool programming in the afternoon. While the elements of service are the same across our 29 sites, the daily service of each of our AmeriCorps members differs. To explore the days in the lives of some of our AmeriCorps members, connect with a recruiter.

3. You are a tutor, role model, mentor, coach and more.

As a City Year AmeriCorps member, you will have responsibilities in addition to tutoring and mentoring students that you work with, but above all, you serve as a positive and consistent presence for kids, someone who knows how to listen and shows up for students, every day.

City Year Tulsa AmeriCorps member Richard MacTough recounts how his struggles and successes in school help him to relate to and support his students today.
“My academic experience from middle through high school was a challenging time for me,” Richard says. “I was a student who didn’t have the resources I felt I needed to succeed. I felt constantly frustrated being in the classroom.”

“I often see my own struggles in the students I serve during the day. I know my students are excited about learning but can have a difficult time without having the resources they need in the classroom.”

“I decided to serve because I believe I have something to offer to my students. They need someone to believe in them. I see teachers, school staff and my fellow corps members exemplify the ability to believe in and actively work for the success of their students.”

4. You will work with students. And their families. And their teachers. And a team of other corps members.

While the student service aspect of our service is often a given for our applicants, we want you to know that you will also be building partnerships within your students’ community–including their teachers and their families. The teacher relationship will be particularly vital for your service and for the success of your students.

The support and camaraderie of your AmeriCorps member team is “a driving force” in your success with students, as well as a source of fun and joy.

When I first applied to City Year, I was torn between two sites—but after some deliberation with close friends, I wondered how I could give my year of service anywhere besides Oklahoma. I grew up here, I love Oklahoma and have been excited to give my support to education here. – City Year Tulsa AmeriCorps member Sally Finnegan

5. Data will become your best friend.

We use data to track our progress with students and set academic goals for them to achieve. As a result, data collection and student-progress monitoring will play a major role in your service. Don’t let this make you nervous. We’ll train you on how to track and analyze this information.

6. Your responsibilities start before your first day of service.

If you apply and are accepted to serve with City Year, your preparation for your service begins long before your actual first day. These items include, but are not limited to:

  • All City Year AmeriCorps members who are relocating 50 miles or more for service can receive a $500 one-time relocation payment. Even still, it’s smart to start arriving one to two weeks early for your Registration Day with your City Year site. While our admissions teams will send you reminders and information regarding these things, it is important for you to stay on top of these, as well.

7. You are joining a community more than 32,000 strong!

Once you complete your service term with City Year you will be joining a community of more than 30,000 City Year AmeriCorps alums and over 1 million AmeriCorps alums! This network includes professionals within a variety of career sectors from medicine and politics to entertainment and education. Check out our new alumni survey results and learn more about the impact City Year alums continue to have in the world.

8. Your local service has a national context.

The movement to increase high school graduation rates within the United States has gained momentum in the past decade, spurred by Grad Nation’s goal to reach a 90% high school graduation rate by 2020 and a growing understanding that our national economy and local communities benefit when more young Americans have the skills and mindsets they need to flourish in the workforce.

In Tulsa, the most recent high school graduation rate was nearly 77%–an improvement for the district, but still considerably below the national average, which is nearly 85%. We are however seeing incredible growth with the students that City Year serves. At Daniel Webster, a City Year Tulsa partner school, the graduation rate has improved from 53% to 75% in only three years.

Want to learn more about serving with City Year?

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