A Q&A with City Year Philadelphia’s new Executive Director, Darryl Bundrige
This school year marks a lot of new chapters for City Year Philadelphia, a new office, a new blog, and a new Executive Director and Vice President, Darryl Bundrige! You can learn a lot about Darryl on our website, but to learn a bit more about what makes him tick, we asked him to answer a few questions below about his role at City Year.
What is your favorite part about your job?
Having the opportunity to interact with the AmeriCorps members, hearing firsthand the differences they are making and how they are growing from this year of service is a true joy of my job. I equally enjoy seeing data that demonstrates the positive difference we are making and hearing that anecdotally from our partner teachers and principals.
In your own words, why is City Year's work necessary?
City Year’s work is not just necessary, it’s critical. The students, the teachers and the schools we serve in simply don’t have the essential resources to meet the dire needs that exist. Our AmeriCorps members are willing to give and learn as much as they can to make a positive change in students’ lives.
On top of that, no one understands 3rd - 9th graders like someone who was in their shoes not that long ago. The magic of being able to say, “I really understand because I lived it,” or “my brother, sister or friend lived it,” is priceless. Having a role model that thinks you’re pretty cool is really valuable to a student.
What do you see in the future for City Year Philadelphia?
City Year Philadelphia has limitless opportunities to help improve the educational and civic landscape of Philadelphia because of our relentless drive to provide the best possible service to students. When this drive aligns with the efforts of our school partners, is properly funded by our supporters, and is delivered by our well-chosen and highly developed Corps members, we yield outstanding results and will continue to do so.
What is your best piece of advice for City Year AmeriCorps Members?
Give yourself fully and completely to the process and the journey – go all in. When you do, you will be amazed by how much greater your impact with students is, how strong and close your bonds with your teammates are, and how much you will grow and leave this year of service changed for the better.
How can members of the Philadelphia Community support City Year?
We are all in this together. The state of education in our city affects every aspect of our community. Students who drop out are eight times more likely to become incarcerated and three times more likely to be unemployed. Not only are we all affected, but we can all play a part. I encourage anyone interested in learning more to join us at Pennsylvania Convention Center for our Opening Day on August 28 at 9 am. On this day, young leaders across the country take a pledge to serve and dedicate a year of their lives to making a difference. You can also learn more at cityyear.org/Philadelphia.