Every summer, City Year’s network of leaders - all staff and Senior AmeriCorps Members - come together in Boston for a week of learning and community building to prepare for the year of service ahead. This year’s Summer Academy, with the theme of Idealism in Education: A Pathway to Social Justice, sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal, will take place at Northeastern University July 11-15.

What is Summer Academy? 

Summer Academy is a time for all City Year staff and Senior AmeriCorps Members to come together annually for a week of intensive and productive learning, networking and community building. Since 1993, this gathering has served as a powerful vehicle for driving organizational change, sharing and strengthening our unique culture of idealism, and aligning all of us around our shared mission, vision, strategy and goals.

What are the goals of Summer Academy?

This year’s theme - Idealism in Education: A Pathway to Social Justice. 

At City Year, we define “idealism” as having the passion, skills, and courage to work toward changing the world. We harness this idealism via national service to help students and schools succeed. As a community of idealists serving in the field of education, we bring the perspective that a quality education, along with the myriad experiences and interactions of a school day, are critical links in the struggle toward a more just, more equitable society.

Every day in our service, we strategize and take action to meet benchmarks for consistent attendance, for positive changes in behavior, and for increased academic proficiency, yet our long-term goals go much further than a single semester or school year. Underlying those concrete student improvements, we strive for lasting changes in students’ social emotional skills and motivation and ability to achieve, for civically engaged and well-resourced communities and families, and for a level playing field for all members of our country. We have diligently crafted a Long-Term Impact plan that will guide us to achieve these ambitious, critical goals of not only helping improve educational outcomes but of subsequently creating a more just nation.

This Summer Academy, we will deepen our engagement with how our idealistic daily service in schools contributes to a much larger effort to create a more equitable and bright future for our students, our corps, and generations to come.

What happens during Summer Academy? 

The week’s schedule for July 11-15 embodies the goals of Academy. Summer Academy Learning Sessions build our skills and competencies by providing differentiated learning opportunities. Participants are divided into role-based tracks to provide an opportunity for specific tools, best practice sharing and team building between those serving in similar roles across the network. We offer two time blocks of cross-track professional development sessions and two time blocks of committed regional session time, for sites in similar geographic regions to share best practices and build community. New this year, the ProServe track (for our Impact staff & Senior AmeriCorps Members serving directly in schools) as well as our Operational Excellence (OpEx) tracks are differentiated by role & tenure to provide a more targeted experience for participants.

Additionally, throughout the week our entire network will come together for General Assemblies during which we will hear from senior leaders, including Michael Brown, CEO & Co-Founder, Jim Balfanz, President, AnnMaura Connolly, EVP & Chief Strategy Officer; celebrate achievements of our idealists and alumni with an Awards Night; be inspired by the talent within our community at the Talent Show; and take time to honor the shared humanity that unites us all, Ubuntu.

City Year’s people are its greatest resource, and the connections and conversations that become possible when this community gathers together are, arguably, the best part of Summer Academy. It’s going to be an amazing week!


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