City Year's mission is to build democracy through citizen service, civic leadership and social entrepreneurship. Together, these, essential, interconnected and nonpartisan strategies can serve as the civic fuoundation for a strong, active and responsive democracy.
City Year is wholly focused on fighting the national dropout crisis. We have committed to leverage the talent, energy and idealism of corps members to serve as tutors, mentors and role models in schools to help students stay on track - and get back on track - to graduate.
City Year AmeriCorps members focus on three early warning indicators that have been defined through research: poor attendance, disruptive behavior and course failure in math and English. Trouble in these three "ABC's" has been shown to be a direct indicator of a student's risk of dropping out of high school, and City Year's program focuses on getting students back on track to graduation.
City Year is proud of the impact our AmeriCorps members have in our partner schools. During the 2015-2016 school year, 74% of students showed overall growth in literacy, 87% of teachers agreed that City Year improved students' math performance, and 92% of teachers agreed that City Year AmeriCorps members improved students' motivation to learn.
City Year hopes to drastically impact the graduation crisis in America by bringing City Year AmeriCorps members to 50% of all off-track students in 2/3rds of the country's lowest-performing cities by 2023, which will require expanding the number of corps members to 14,000 nationwide and engaging school districts, the private sector, and the federal government through AmeriCorps as partners.
City Year Denver's goals mirror these national initiatives, with the aim of growing to 381 corps members serving in 37 schools by 2023, reaching 22,360 students (50% of the city's off-track students). To achieve these ambitious goals, City Year Denver needs:
1) Diverse funding support, from individuals, foundations, corporations, the school system, and federal and state government to support the growth of the program each year.
2) A qualified and enthusiastic pool of applicants for membership in the corps, dedicated to national service and ready to make a difference in the lives of Denver's students.
3) A robust and deep partnership with Denver Public Schools. City Year Denver is excited to already have a pledge of commitment from DPS's superintendent and a track record of success with teachers but seeks to deepen this partnership even further in the coming years.
4) The addition of new staff to support the higher number of corps members and the additional resources needed to support the expansion of the program.
5) Members of the business, philanthropy, and investment communities, who are passionate about civic engagement and education reform, to join City Year Denver's Advisory Board.
Our 70 AmeriCorps members, ages 18 to 24, serve as Student Success coahes and are the first faces students see in the morning when they arrive at school. The day begins with a high-energy greeting outside of the school and a welcome line of high-fives and handshakes. Going above and beyond, next, AmeriCorps members call home on students who are absent, making sure they know that their absence is felt. They also support them in completing classwork they'll miss and build a sense of trust and partnership with their parents and families. Corps members then assist students throughout the day, both in small-group and one-on-one tutoring sessions. Finally, AmerCorps members lead after-school programs that range from sports, theater, social justice, and hip hop clubs to assisting teachers in planning and preparation for the next day. A day that began at 7:15am ends long after the final bell rings after 5:30pm. A long day but one they take on with optimism and enthusiasm.
Here in Denver, we've seen significant gains in English language and literacy and math scores, attendance, and behavior with the students we serve. We aim for the day when the signature City Year red jacket will mean that each and every student in Denver is making it to the tenth grade on-time and on-track to graduation. In addition, alumni are remaining in Denver after their year of service and continuing their careers in education, nonprofits, small companies and large corporations where they are transitioning to a committed and engaged workforce. Many join our alumni and mentor program and extend their commitment well into the future. By supporting City Year in Denver, you're helping us reach students in grades 3rd -9th and supporting the future of this vibrant city.
"My team and I have been working with City Year to build a strategic partnership that will integrate City Year as part of our school turnaround strategy. As powerful role models and near peer performance coaches, we see City Year corps members as a strong partner in improving student achievement and serving our families."
- Superintendent Tom Boasberg
"City Year identifies young leaders to give a year of their time providing students with the extra support and attention they need to succeed in school. We support City Year and see the difference the organization's dedication is making in Colorado."
- Governor John Hickenlooper
"As an active corporate citizen and supporter of numerous community initiatives, I believe in City Year and the impact they are making in local schools. City Year is definitely making a difference in the Denver community." - Kelly Brough, President and CEO of the Denver Chamber of Commerce
"City Year is amazing because they respond to student needs with a sense of precision and urgency." - Laura Brinkman, Deputy Executive Director of the West Denver Network, Denver Public Schools
"I have always believed in the power of service, particularly when it is used to better the lives of children living in challenging conditions. It is for these reasons that I offer strong support for City Year [being] strategically deployed to our schools so that they can join our vital work in keeping students on the path to graduation and life success." - former Denver Mayor, Wellington Webb
City Year was founded in 1988 by Michael Brown and Alan Khazei, then-roommates at Harvard Law School, who felt strongly that young people in service could be a powerful resource for addressing America's most pressing issues.
They built City Year with the conviction that one person can make a difference, and since its inception, City Year has promoted the vision of service as a common expectation - and a real opportunity - for citizens all around the world. City Year's vision is that one day the most commonly asked question of a young person will be, "Where are you going to do your service year?"
City Year narrowed its service in 2006 to focus solely on America's graduation crisis, deploying all Corps Members to public schools in underserved communities and designing its comprehensive Whole School Whole Child program to ensure maximum impact. City Year is currently serving in 28 cities across the United States and in three international affiliate sites located in Johannesburg, South Africa, and London and Birmingham, England. City Year Denver, launched in 2011 with the support of state and local government and education professionals, is proud to be one of those 28 sites.