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Meet a City Year Parent: Q&A with Debby Kuhn, CYP Alumni Parent and Board Member

City Year Philadelphia (CYP) is currently hiring full-time mentors and tutors to serve in schools during the 2022-23 academic year! Our AmeriCorps members provide classroom support, tutor students one-on-one and in small groups, organize school-wide events and run afterschool programs. Learn more about the service experience here.

If you’re a parent or guardian of a prospective CYP AmeriCorps member, you may have questions about the opportunity and their year of service. We recently spoke with Debby Kuhn, CYP Board member, on her perspective as a parent of a former Corps member and on the benefits of serving with City Year Philly. Visit City Year’s FAQ page for parents, guardians, and caregivers for further information.

 

How did your son learn of the opportunity to serve with City Year Philly? What drew him to wanting to do a year of service?

At the time, my family and I were living in the suburbs and had never heard of City Year. While my son had a job, he was seeking potentially more meaningful, rewarding opportunities. One day, in Philadelphia, he was heading into the train station, and someone gave him a flyer about City Year AmeriCorps service. He took the flyer, brought it home and started his application to City Year!

 

As the parent of a former CYP AmeriCorps member, why do you believe that serving with City Year is a beneficial opportunity for young people? How did serving with CYP benefit your son’s personal and professional growth?

I believe any kind of service benefits young people, and I think it’s a standard we should encourage among our youth. To me, City Year Philadelphia is wonderful because it serves the city that my family loves and has been a part of for a long time now.

For professional and personal development, City Year is a great window into how an effective nonprofit operates, how the education system impacts communities and what teaching really means. It is not just about students’ academic achievement. It is about their social and emotional development as well.

For my son, City Year elevated his interest in either teaching or social work. After graduating from City Year Philly, he returned to school and earned a master’s degree in social work, which informed his current career pathway. And the overall opportunity to have served with other like-minded City Year AmeriCorps members still has positive impacts for him to this day.

 

What advice would you give to other parents/caregivers who are helping their child decide whether to serve with City Year, and in Philadelphia?

I would advise parents to encourage their child to consider a year of service and to learn more about City Year Philadelphia. While service is challenging, as with any job or role that is meaningful, the experience and benefits are so rewarding.

As we still navigate the pandemic, and work and workplace norms continue to evolve, this is a good time to think about a service year. The skills and experiences a young adult gains as a City Year AmeriCorps member will help build their resume no matter what education or career pathways they choose.

 

Are you considering a year of service, or do you know someone who is? Learn more about how to apply to serve with City Year Philly during the 2022-23 school year! Visit cityyear.org/apply-now to get started.

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