Focus and Mission
City Year’s mission is to build democracy through citizen service, civic leadership and social entrepreneurship. It is through service that we can demonstrate the power and idealism of young people, engage citizens to benefit the common good, and develop young leaders of the next generation.
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.
Our corps members do this by focusing on three early warning indicators that have been defined through research: attendance, behavior and course performance in math and English.
City Year’s In School & On Track initiative is designed to bring City Year corps members to 50% of all of the students falling off track in City Year’s 24 U.S. locations, which will require expanding the number of corps members to 6,000 and engaging school districts, the private sector and the federal government through AmeriCorps as partners.
History and Inspiration
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 is currently serving in 24 cities across the United States and in two international affiliate sites located in Johannesburg, South Africa and London, England.
National Service Thought Leadership
City Year’s work in schools is strengthened by its deep history in community service. Since 1988, City Year has been a leader in the growing national service movement, leading to the establishment of AmeriCorps, the passage of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, and the creation of Voices for National Service.
City Year applies the principles of national service to our work with students and, in doing so, builds awareness and support for national and international service initiatives.
City Year is a proud member of the Voices for National Service and ServiceNation coalitions.
There's quite a bit to learn about City Year—explore the following sections to get to know our mission, meet our leadership team, and learn about our initiatives in depth: