Living in Detroit
As the largest city in Michigan, Detroit is a major city with plenty to offer. Detroit has always been known for its rich culture. The same traditions that gave the city the nickname of Motor City, or “Motown,” still exist today. There are many music festivals throughout the year, including the famous Detroit Electronic Music Festival and the Detroit International Jazz Festival, and there is a huge theater district known for putting on Broadway musicals. The city is known for its beauty, and was the first city to be named a “City of Design” for its unique and distinctive architecture. There are some world-famous museums located in Detroit, such as the Detroit Institute of Art and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Detroit is also known for its professional basketball, football, hockey, and baseball teams, all of which have stadiums downtown. Situated on the shores of the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair, and in between Great Lakes Huron and Erie, there are a variety of outdoor activities to do. It is easy to experience the city’s vibrancy every day, as the city is walkable and engaging, with many places to explore such as the Eastern Market, a year-round market which showcases local food, art and music.
Why We Need You
Despite everything that makes Detroit unique and vibrant, some students in Detroit face significant challenges every day. Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) serves approximately 50,000 students. Collectively, students across the district speak over 30 different languages. As such a large district, it’s common for students to attend a school in a different neighborhood from their homes, causing unique transportation and logistical challenges that make it difficult for students to get to school and arrive on time. DPSCD schools are among the lowest-performing schools in the US. City Year Detroit currently partners with nine DPSCD schools. Our partner schools face significant resource and teacher shortages, and building upgrade needs, which negatively impact students both inside and outside of the classroom.
How You Can Make a Difference
DCPSD’s enrollment is up nearly 4% for the first time in 16 years. With enrollment climbing, there is a lot of momentum around embracing change and putting students first. Through DPSDC’s recent adoption of new curriculum, which includes the addition of Music class in every school and more teacher training, the district is striving to make progress and ensure all students are receiving a high-quality education. City Year Detroit is in a unique position to help alleviate obstacles that students are facing while also supporting the district’s momentum.
City Year Detroit is committed to supporting AmeriCorps members and their diverse career interests by offering professional development trainings, networking events, career workshops and resume reviews. There are a lot of opportunities available at the site to build AmeriCorps members’ networks and provide them with resources to grow. City Year Ambassadors (CYA), a group of women in the community who have committed themselves to supporting corps members throughout their year of service, host dinners and networking events. The Detroit Pistons often offer City Year Detroit AmeriCorps members tickets, and during AmeriCorps Member Appreciation Month, City Year Detroit partners Mercedes Bens Financial Services and Starbucks to give gifts to the corps.
At City Year Detroit, there is a very strong teacher pathway program for AmeriCorps members who want to go into education after their year of service. All City Year Detroit AmeriCorps members have access to professional development features such as on-on-one resume and cover letter help, information sessions with alternative certification programs and graduate schools and time to network with Detroit Public Schools staff. AmeriCorps members who return to serve a second year have the opportunity to become a Teaching Intern, which is an AmeriCorps member who is earning their teaching certification through Teachers of Tomorrow, while receiving direct support from City Year Detroit staff as they work through the program’s teaching credential coursework and requirements. After completion of this coursework, AmeriCorps members are able to enter the job market to be hired as a full-time teacher, having already established a relationship with Detroit Public Schools.
Detroit is in need of talented and passionate young people to help all students reach their full potential. A vibrant city filled with culture, Detroit offers a wide-range of opportunities and entertainment for young people. Now more than ever, Detroit is a great place for young people to make their mark and generate long term positive impact in the community.