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Local Nonprofit Receives Largest-Ever Gift to Help Thousands of Kids Graduate;
Supplements NVIDIA’s Project Inspire Giving of $5.5 Million for Local Education


SAN JOSE, Dec. 2, 2014 – City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley announced today that it will be able to support thousands more under-served students in East San Jose, thanks to a $1 million donation received from NVIDIA CEO and Co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang and his wife, Lori – the largest gift in its 20-year history.

The funds will enable the nonprofit to expand into additional elementary and middle schools, and increase the graduation rate of students at a new partnerning high school in San Jose. 

A formal presentation to City Year will take place on Saturday, Dec. 6, as part of NVIDIA’s Project Inspire event, to be held this year at Clyde L. Fischer Middle School, in East San Jose. This is the sixth year City Year and NVIDIA have worked together on Project Inspire, an annual volunteer event that the company holds in place of holiday party.  Since 2007, Project Inspire has directed $5.5 million in cash, equipment and labor to support the education of local kids.

The Huang family gift of $1 million will enable City Year to extend support for East San Jose students – providing high-quality academic intervention and mentoring for every student who attends City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley's new partnering high school, and its feeder elementary and middle schools – in partnership with Alum Rock Union and East Side Union High School District.

Through this gift, City Year will serve three times more students in the district, expanding  from 31 volunteers serving 1,500 students in 3 schools to 79 volunteers serving 5,000 students in 8 schools. At the same time, it aims to nearly double the proportion of students on track to graduate from 43 percent to 80 percent.

“City Year’s ability to help students and schools succeed is only possible because of mighty champions like Lori and Jen-Hsun Huang,” said Toni Burke, vice president and executive director of City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley. “This gift is game-changing and the first of its kind in our history. Equal access to quality education is the civil rights issue of our time. The health and well-being of our nation’s economy depend on it. Leaders like the Huang family are helping thousands more students realize their dreams.”

Across the nation, nearly one million students drop out of school every year. In San Jose, more than 2,600 students drop out of high school every year. City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley places young adult AmeriCorps volunteers in city schools to help at-risk students graduate from high school ready for college and careers. AmeriCorps members serve full-time in schools as tutors, mentors and role models, advancing school-wide reform practices and providing individualized support to students.

Michael Brown, co-founder and CEO of City Year, discussed the organization’s work and future plans during San Jose’s 20th anniversary gala festivities.

“We are tremendously grateful to Lori and Jen-Hsun for their generous commitment to City Year San Jose's work," said City Year's national CEO Michael Brown. "City Year has a bold plan to dramatically increase the urban graduation pipeline in the U.S, and the Huang family’s gift will help City Year San Jose increase the number of students who have a City Year AmeriCorps member serving as a tutor, mentor and role model dedicated to their academic and life success," he said.

City Year’s impact in San Jose has been substantial. Last year, 82 percent of students tutored by City Year in literacy and 70 percent of students in math who were earning an “F” or “D” improved to a “C” or better by the end of the year. Across the area, City Year currently has 94 volunteers in nine elementary and middle schools, serving 4,400 students.

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About City Year: City Year is an education-focused, nonprofit organization founded in 1988 that partners with public schools to provide full-time targeted intervention for students most at risk of dropping out. In 25 communities across the United States and through two international affiliates, our teams of young AmeriCorps leaders support students by focusing on attendance, behavior, and course performance through in-class tutoring, mentoring, and after school programs that keep kids in school and on track to graduate.