City Year and AmeriCorps have had a deep partnership for more than 20 years. We believe that national service has a powerful role to play in improving educational outcomes for students. Since City Year's founding in 1988, our more than 18,000 corps members have served more than 26 million hours. City Year, along with thousands of other non-profit organizations, is a proud member of the AmeriCorps network, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service. AmeriCorps offers Americans of all ages the opportunity to devote a year to community-based service in areas of education, health and human needs, public safety, disaster preparedness, and the environment. Since 1994, AmeriCorps has provided opportunities for more than 600,000 Americans to serve their country.
Locally, in Denver, several City Year staff members are AmeriCorps Alumni.
Read some of their stories below:
In early 2002 I was looking for a way to connect with my work, to serve my community and to serve my country. I was excited to find all that I was looking for and more in the National Civilian Community Corps then based in Washington, D.C. There I had the opportunity to be certified to fight fires with the National Park Service, partner with the American Red Cross to serve the people of Guam after a super typhoon devastated the island, restore hiking trails in Virginia, paint homes with the ARC of Anne Arundel County, MD, and most importantly I had the opportunity to live and work with people who were from all over the country with racial, education and economic backgrounds different from my own. I learned how to better work with others and understand how to recognize and appreciate the unique talents and perspectives individuals bring to any project or challenge. Most importantly, I learned that serving my community and country didn't have to end with the completion of my year with AmeriCorps.
- Romeo Hereau- AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps Alumnus; Washington, D.C. and surrounding district
Doing Teach For America was an incredible experience; I had the privilege of working with some of the most inspiring, hilarious, creative 6th grade students for three years, as well as collaborating with gifted lifelong teachers who were dedicated to providing our students with the best possible education day in and day out. On the flipside, teaching also gave me firsthand experience with the educational inequity facing our nation's youth and the limits this can put on future opportunities. As a result, I continued to pursue job positions that enabled me to give opportunities to those that may not have them otherwise, leading to my current role as Program Manager with City Year- another AmeriCorps organiziation!
- Charlotte Bemis- Teach For America AmeriCorps Alumna; Aurora, Colorado
At the beginning of my corps year in 2012, I began to build a relationship with a student who seemed troubled and challenged. He had a lot of anger built up inside of him and would show his peers through verbal aggression or his stature that he was in charge. Through on going conversations with him, pulling him out of class when he would act out, I began to understand who he was and the challenges he was facing outside of school. Day by day, he opened up to me more, explaining that his "family" was his neighborhood gang, and that he was one of the leaders. This student had a difficult time getting to school and was failing academically. I began to call him on a daily basis, encouraged him to get involved with athletics and began working with him on his academics. Throughout the course of the year, he showed improvements and was on the football and wrestling team. By spring, he was officially out of his gang and I saw him socializing with his peers, encouraging others to do well, dating and overall be a kid again. This student helped me more than he knows, I saw this impact and the effects it had on him but I also saw how I could change some of my behaviors and have a positive impact on my peers. He is the reason that I continue to serve with City Year and believe in the power of young people.
- Ethan Kirkwood- City Year AmeriCorps Alumnus; Denver, Colorado
My service as a City Year AmeriCorps Member gave me the opportunity to actively engage in a social justice issue, and transform the way I viewed service. Until I was actually working with students, teachers, administrators, and community members in a hands-on way, I didn't actually understand what it meant to act on my idealism, and now I have the capacity to maintain it.
- Jeremy Mullet- City Year AmeriCorps Alumnus; Denver, Colorado