Comcast NBCUniversal Leadership Awards Honor City Year Alumni Making a Difference in Their Communities

Since 2005, 60 outstanding City Year AmeriCorps alumni have

been recognized for inspiring, mobilizing and empowering others


Boston, MA (July 14, 2016) – At this year’s leadership awards ceremony, five City Year alumni leaders were presented with the Comcast NBCUniversal Leadership Award, in recognition of their continued efforts to make a meaningful difference in their communities. These alumni actively spend their time serving in the fields of urban education, youth development, community health, and public service.


City Year is an education organization that is fueled by national service, and partners with urban public schools aiming to keep students in school and on track to graduate, as well as prepare for college or a career.


This year’s awards ceremony was held at Northeastern University’s Matthews Arena on Wednesday, July 13, and was attended by more than a thousand City Year staff and AmeriCorps members from City Year’s 28 sites across the country.


“The Comcast NBCUniversal Leadership Awards are a tremendous way to recognize exceptional City Year alumni who continue to serve their communities,” said Michael Brown, CEO and Co-Founder of City Year.  “This year’s winners are innovators doing important work, and all of us at City Year are enormously proud of what they have accomplished.  We are grateful to Comcast NBCUniversal for publicly celebrating these remarkable leaders on this special night.”


For the past 28 years, City Year alumni have been making a difference in their communities, both inside and outside of the organization. Since 2005, Comcast NBCUniversal has recognized 60 City Year alumni leaders, including this year’s recipients who served as City Year AmeriCorps members in Boston, New York City, and Chicago. The winners include:


  • Rahn Dorsey, City Year Boston ’90, Chief of Education for the City Of Boston, for leading a first-of-its kind Education Cabinet to build holistic education strategies and bridging diverse sectors to level the playing field and increase opportunity for students and families. Dorsey has been a catalyzing force for education in Boston and has a deep dedication to public service and community organizing.
  • Jade Elias, City Year New York ’07, Chief Program Officer for Red Hook Initiative of Brooklyn, New York, for her unwavering dedication to creating systemic social change for youth, their families and communities. Elias has designed programs that empower youth in Red Hook to unlock change in their own communities and is truly shaping the trajectory for thousands of young people.
  • Bethiel Girma Holton, City Year Boston ’06, ’07, National Director of Student Engagement for City Year in Boston, for her deep contributions and innovative approach to education at City Year. Girma Holton has been the key architect in building an innovative new approach to evaluate student progress, which is serving as the foundation to achieving City Year’s Long-term Impact Strategy.   
  • Gina Massuda Barnett, City Year Chicago ’97, Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Unit Director at the Cook County Department of Public Health and ACHIEVE project leader in Chicago, for her visionary leadership and tireless advocacy in the field of public health. Barnett has designed hundreds of interventions to bring broad-based policy, systems, and environmental changes that have improved the health of more than 1.6 million people and 90,000 students, as well as fostered multi-sector partnerships and helped support future public health leaders through mentorship.
  • Chris Osgood, City Year Boston ’05, Chief of Streets for the City of Boston, for his tireless efforts to move the City of Boston forward and better serve all residents of Boston through creating a sustainable, equitable and efficient transportation network. Osgood led the city’s first municipal research and development group that is now a nationally recognized model for civic innovation and created a digital platform to improve Boston neighborhoods that has been replicated in 20 countries.


The Comcast NBCUniversal Leadership Award winners each received a $1,000 Leadership Grant to further support their work to change the world. These alumni exemplify City Year's core values and show a dedication to community service, serving as an inspiration to others, and creating sustainable solutions to and for social change. Previous award-winning City Year alumni include: an immigration rights lawyer, a mayor, three physicians and public health specialists, four corporate social responsibility leaders, six community and economic development professionals, seven school principals and educators, 24 executive directors and nonprofit leaders, and 14 City Year staff members. This year’s honorees add their tremendous talents to this impressive list.


“As City Year’s National Strategic Partner, Comcast NBCUniversal is committed to supporting the next generation of civic leaders,” said Fred Maahs, Senior Director of Community Investment, National Partnerships and Vice President of the Comcast Foundation, who spoke at the event. “For more than a decade, we’ve been proud to recognize outstanding City Year alumni who continue to uphold the commitment they made in their City Year red jacket to create transformational impact in the communities they serve.”


In addition to being the sponsor for the Leadership Awards, Comcast NBCUniversal is the National Opening Day Sponsor, Sponsor of the National Leadership Summit, Presenting Sponsor of City Year’s annual training academy, a multi-site team sponsor, and offers support to City Year’s leadership development programs.


About City Year: City Year is dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members provide high-impact student, classroom and school-wide supports to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success. A recent third party study shows that schools that partner with City Year were up to 2-3 times more likely to improve on Math and English assessments. A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, local school districts, and private philanthropy from corporations, foundations and individuals. Learn more at, City Year’s Facebook page, and on Twitter. 


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