Contact: Kria Sakakeeny
Bain Capital is Presenting Sponsor as Benefit Raises $2.7 Million to Support City Year’s Work to Keep Students in School and on Track to Graduation
Celebration includes Performances by the Boston Pops, Actor Hill Harper and Judith Hill of ‘The Voice’
BOSTON, MA (May 23, 2014) – Paying tribute to the power of national service to transform the future for thousands of students nationwide, while developing the leadership skills of those who serve, City Year will officially mark its 25th Anniversary on Thursday, May 22, at 7:30 p.m. at Symphony Hall in Boston. With more than 2,000 supporters, City Year will honor former President Bill Clinton with the 25th Anniversary Legacy Award for his extra ordinary leadership of national service and his longtime support of City Year.
“City Year was founded on the belief that the energy and idealism of young people could be a powerful resource for addressing America’s most pressing needs while developing those who serve into committed citizen leaders,” said Michael Brown, City Year CEO and co-founder. “Now, twenty-five years later, 25,000 City Year AmeriCorps members have given back to their communities and helped thousands of students in high-need schools meet their potential. We are so grateful to the young people who have served, to our champions who have made their service possible, and especially to President Bill Clinton who founded AmeriCorps and helped thousands of Americans give a year of service to their community and nation.”
City Year is an education-based non-profit organization that helps high-need urban schools keep students in school and on track to succeed. From its first Boston-based corps of 50 young adults, City Year now deploys 2,700 AmeriCorps members to serve 150,000 students in 242 schools in 25 U.S. cities, and also has affiliates in the U.K. and South Africa. It recruits and trains young adults willing to devote a year of service as tutors, mentors and role models for students in graded three through nine, who face the greatest risk of dropping out of school.
During the evening, City Year will present the 25th Anniversary Legacy Award to Bill President Clinton. In 1991, then Governor Clinton met with City Year's founders and corps members in Boston. Just a few years later after taking office, Clinton signed the National Community Service and Trust Act and launched AmeriCorps, noting that the responsibility of each individual to give back to his or her community was the foundation of American freedom. President Clinton’s visionary leadership and creation of AmeriCorps have been a powerful force in City Year’s ability to expand and ultimately challenge the high school achievement gap in America. In 2001, Clinton invited representatives and alumni of City Year to accompany him on a trip to South Africa where President Nelson Mandela asked them to create a national service program for young adults in his country. Since 2005, more than 1,400 young people have served through City Year South Africa.
Since City Year’s founding, City Year AmeriCorps members have dedicated more than 26 million hours of service nationwide and internationally. Recently, City Year launched a Long Term Impact strategy that calls for expanding to reach the cities that account for two-thirds of the nation’s urban dropouts in order to serve nearly 800,000 at-risk students annually. The strategy calls for expanding from a corps of 2,700 to more than 12,000 and growing from 25 cities to 38.
In Boston, working closely with the Boston Public Schools, local philanthropists, and the Massachusetts Service Alliance and AmeriCorps, City Year reaches 25 percent of off-track students. City Year’s goal for the next phase of growth in Boston is to reach 50 percent of these students by growing from a corps of 265 members serving in 20 of the city’s highest need elementary, middle and high schools, to a corps of 450 City Year AmeriCorps members serving in 34 Boston Public Schools.
“As former Boston Public Schools Superintendent, I witnessed City Year Boston AmeriCorps members improve attendance and behavior, dramatically affect students’ academic performance, and energize the whole school environment,” said Dr. Carol Johnson, City Year, Inc. Trustee. “City Year is now one of the Boston Public School Department’s key turnaround partners, and will undoubtedly help drive results in other urban school districts across this country.”
City Year’s 25th Anniversary Gala celebrates its history, impact and growth with a night of entertainment at a sold-out Boston Symphony Hall. Among the performers are actor and writer Hill Harper, who also is a City Year Los Angeles Board member; the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Keith Lockhart, and Judith Hill of “The Voice” and the Oscar-winning documentary, “20 Feet From Stardom.” The event opens with inspirational remarks from 6thgrader, Joel Montero, a student at Orchard Gardens School in Roxbury, who has received support from City Year AmeriCorps members for years.
The assembled supporters will have donated an estimated $2.7 million to mark the 25th anniversary, the largest single fundraising event in City Year’s history.
“This kind of financial support is a testament to the important work of City Year, and stands as an investment in America’s future,” said Jonathan Lavine, the chair of City Year’s national Board of Trustees and the managing partner and chief investment officer of Sankaty Advisors, the credit affiliate of Bain Capital LLC. “City Year helps students and schools succeed while also helping those who serve in the corps, become lifelong leaders. It is the essence of a double bottom line investment.” Lavine added.
Longtime supporter Bain Capital is serving as National Sponsor of City Year's 25th Anniversary and the Presenting Sponsor of the 25th Anniversary Gala. Bain Capital’s commitment to City Year spans over two decades. Their partners and employees have participated in firm-wide volunteer service days, served as advisers and board members, and contributed generously to the organization financially. Since 1998, more than 150 City Year members have served on the Bain Capital City Year Team, contributing more than 250,000 hours of service in the Boston community.
About City Year: City Year is an education-focused, nonprofit organization founded in 1988 that partners with public schools and teachers to help keep students in school and on track to succeed. In 25 communities across the United States and through two international affiliates, this innovative public-private partnership brings together teams of young AmeriCorps members who commit to a year of full-time service in schools. Corps members provide individual support to students who need extra care and attention, focusing on attendance, behavior, and course performance through in-class tutoring, mentoring, and after school programs.