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, sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal, will take place at Northeastern University July 13-17.

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. At City Year we view idealism as a set of skills – imagine, recruit, transform and inspire – that can be learned and put into practice on a daily basis. Our own idealism and hard work help City Year advance our mission of harnessing the power of national service to address our nation’s dropout crisis, turn around low performing schools and help students succeed, while developing the civic leadership skills of those who serve. This year at Summer Academy we will explore what it means to be a community of idealists serving in the field of education - how we participate in and contribute to City Year and school communities, how we maintain and practice idealism in our service, and how we model learning and growth.

What happens during Summer Academy? The week’s schedule for July 13-17 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. New this year, we are offering cross-track professional development sessions.

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; learn from guest speakers including Robert Putnam, author of Bowling Alone and Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis; 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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