By Yaa D. Acheampong '11, '12, City Year Marketing Associate
“So, I think I’m going to apply to City Year.”
Great! We’re so excited to hear you’re interested in joining us. City Year has a strong organizational culture built on our values and informed by our work with young leaders over the years. We’re excited that you might be a part of that tradition. But before you start your application, we want to help you feel prepared for the long haul. Here are some things we think you should know!
1. Our service is in the education sector, but your career path does not need to be.
People often think that because we do service within schools, we primarily want candidates who are interested in careers working in schools or in education. Actually, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. We are looking for highly-motivated individuals who have diverse interests, career aspirations, and skillsets that will lend itself to working well with students. That said, if you know you don’t like working with children, then City Year might not be the right fit for you. Now, if you’ve never worked with children before but think you’d like to give it a shot–come on down!
2. The benefits are more than just the stipend.
One of the big things that people hone in on when considering City Year is the stipend. While $564 dollars every two weeks (before taxes) is not a wealth of money, this is only one of the benefits that City Year and AmeriCorps offer to our corps. In addition to the living stipend, we also offer AmeriCorps members the following:
Segal Education Award ($5,815)
Public transportation passes*
*In our cities with robust public transportation systems. These passes range in annual value from $750-$2,000.
3. Our service is full-time.
As a City Year AmeriCorps member you will be working in schools full-time. Our AmeriCorps members are at the schools before the students arrive and are there through their afterschool programming. While the elements of service are the same across our 27 sites, the daily service of each of our AmeriCorps members differs. To explore the days in the lives of some of our AmeriCorps members, check this out!
4. You are more than a tutor and a mentor/coach.
As a City Year AmeriCorps member, you will have responsibilities in addition to tutoring and mentoring students that you work with. You will most likely have a coordinator role within your team where you’ll serve as the point person on a specific initiative. These roles allow you to become an expert on a specific aspect of City Year service while infusing your own creativity into activities and events. For example, as a Math or Afterschool Coordinator you may plan an innovative parent and community engagement night, leading your team in implementing the event.
5. You will work with students. And their families. And their teachers.
While the student service aspect of our service is often a given for our applicants, we want you to know that you will also be building partnerships within your students’ community–including their teachers and their families. The teacher relationship will be particularly vital for your service and for the success of your students.
6. Data will become your best friend.
We use data to track our progress with students and set academic goals for them to achieve. As a result, data collection and student-progress monitoring will play a major role in your service. Don’t let this make you nervous. We’ll train you on how to track and analyze this information.
7. Your responsibilities start before your first day of service.
If you apply and are accepted to serve with City Year, your preparation for your service begins long before your actual first day. These items include, but are not limited to:
Securing your housing
Acquiring the necessary documentation to serve
Completing the onboarding process
Arriving one to two weeks early for your Registration Day with your City Year site
While our admissions teams will send you reminders and information regarding these things, it is important for you to stay on top of these, as well.
8. You are joining a community over 25,000 strong!
Once you complete your service term with City Year you will be joining a community of over 20,000 City Year AmeriCorps alumni and over 1 million AmeriCorps alums! This network includes professionals within a variety of career sectors from medicine and politics to entertainment and education.
9. Your local service has a national context.
The education crisis within the United States has a greater context than even what we provide on our website. It is important to begin learning about the factors that play a role in high dropout rates and the about the communities most affected by it.
10. Our recruiters are there for you!
City Year has a number of recruiters all over the United States. Connecting with them before you apply can help you with deciding if City Year is the right fit for you and submitting the strongest application if you decide that it is. Get to know a recruiter near you!
Now that you’ve made it to the end of the article, you’re definitely ready to...
Good luck and let us know if you have any questions.
Remember item #10--our recruiters are here to help you through the application process!
Editorial Note: This post was updated September 14, 2017 in order to share up-to-date information.
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