As the service year draws to a close, it’s helpful to take time to reflect on our service year and discuss ways we can continue to serve and to support our schools and communities. We are excited to celebrate our National Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. this week. Each year, City Year's In School & On Track National Leadership Summit convenes national and local leaders from the education, business, government, and philanthropic communities to discuss the unique and targeted role national service can play in helping to turn around low-performing schools.

Four AmeriCorps Members from across our sites were selected to be our Digital Ambassadors at the Summit. They will attend various sessions, interact with our nations’ leaders and be part of the latest education conversations. Follow our AmeriCorps Members as they live tweet and Instagram the event.

Name: Dennis Elwell

Age: 24

Site: City Year Philadelphia

Team: G.W. Childs K-8 School

University: The College of New Jersey

What made you join City Year?

I always wanted to make a positive impact in my community. More recently, I felt drawn to working in education and wanted to give working in a school a "test drive." I also wanted to join an organization that valued idealism and service. Naturally, City Year was a great fit for those interests!


Name: Summer Woods

Age: 22

Site: New York    

Team: IS 126Q – Albert Shanker School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Astoria, Queens

University: Furman University

What made you join City Year?

I believe education is the single most effective way of reducing poverty and I joined City Year to work with other like-minded individuals who believe in every single kid as much as I do. I was blessed to grow up in an environment where I was taught to love learning. Education has been the greatest gift I’ve ever received, from the joy of reading growing up to allowing me to play Division I soccer in college. But I believe education is a right that is denied to far too many of our children and our world is suffering because of it.


Name: Jessica Lim

Age: 18

Site: New Hampshire

Team: Henry Wilson Elementary

University: I will attend the University of Pennsylvania as part of the Class of 2019

What made you join City Year?

At my high school, college was always on everyone’s minds. It was just what you did next and my doing a gap year is extremely against the norm. After I submitted my enrollment to Penn, and the anticipation of applying to college was replaced by the anticipation of going, I realized how worn out I was. I began researching gap year programs because the idea of going from one four-year degree straight to the next seemed very rushed. City Year intrigued me because of the leadership roles and responsibilities AmeriCorps members took on as mentors and near peer tutors. I was inspired by the national movement it had created to tackle America’s dropout crisis. I decided to defer my matriculation to college because I decided that taking a step back and gaining experience in addressing our country’s most pressing issues would make me better appreciate as well as gain more from my college experience.


Name: Jessica Hernandez

Age: 25

Site: City Year Little Rock/North Little Rock

Team: Cloverdale Middle School

University: University of California, Berkeley

What made you join City Year?

My father is an ex-child combatant from the Salvadoran Civil War. At an early age (after the loss of his own father), his family could no longer afford to provide him with an education so he stopped attending school and found a job to support his family financially. My father is a genius without a formal education. He can fix cars, build houses, solve engineering problems and learn how to do about anything. My father’s struggles are the strongest factors that have shaped me into the passionate individual I am who cares for her community.

Share This Page