Living in Jacksonville
Located where the St. Johns River meets the stunning Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville is the largest city by land mass in the US. Jacksonville is the cultural, commercial, and financial hub of Northern Florida. A big city with a small-town vibe and Southern charm, Jacksonville is a very friendly and welcoming city that is increasingly embracing change and newcomers. With a year-round subtropical climate, residents of Jacksonville are always able to enjoy beaches, activities by the water and a variety of parks. Jacksonville’s atmosphere is a balance between a fast-paced northern city and a traditional southern city, making it a unique place to live. Being such a large city, Jacksonville is comprised of a collection of many communities ranging from beachside communities, developing suburbs, urban areas to rural areas- Jacksonville has it all.
Why We Need You
Despite Jacksonville’s vibrant and welcoming atmosphere and business appeal, some students in Jacksonville face significant challenges every day. The 6th largest school district in state, Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) serves over 128,000 students across 198 schools. DCPS has a diverse student population with 44% of students that identify as Black or African American, 36% Non-White Hispanic, 10% Hispanic, 5% Multi-Racial and 4% Asian. DCPS’s ELL students speak 20 different languages with Spanish being the most prevalent language. District wide, over 60% of students are eligible for Free and Reduced Priced Lunch. DCPS’s graduation rate is around 78%.1 Teacher shortages and student transiency are common factors that make educational achievement even more challenging for some DCPS students. Throughout the district, there is a teacher shortage that results in a high volume of substitute and temporary teachers. This often disrupts students’ routines and learning as they are constantly adjusting to new teachers. This issue is amplified by the fact that students often move and switch schools.
How You Can Make a Difference
City Year Jacksonville currently serves in 12 DCPS schools where these obstacles are highly concentrated. Across City Year’s 12 partner schools, City Year Jacksonville AmeriCorps members work with 7,000 students in need of extra support and resources in order to stay on track and graduate on time. Given the challenges facing students and the community, City Year is playing a critical role in ensuring all students receive a quality education and realize they have what it takes to be a successful. Within City Year’s schools, there is a large number of students who really need positive role models in their lives. City Year’s near-peer approach allows students to connect and develop relationships with AmeriCorps members in Jacksonville. Often, students see themselves in AmeriCorps members and are empowered by the fact that they have the potential grow up to be like the AmeriCorps members they work with. The communities where City Year Jacksonville serves need AmeriCorps members to keep the momentum going and ensure all students are living up to their potential. City Year Jacksonville has vast local support from DCPS, individuals and the business community. Jacksonville is also headquarters to many large corporations, including City Year corporate partner CSX.
City Year Jacksonville is in need of passionate and dedicated young people to serve. With over 50% of students tutored by AmeriCorps members last year improving by at least 1 grade level, AmeriCorps members are truly making an impact. A close-knit community with ample opportunities to network across different sectors combined with countless neighborhoods to explore, Jacksonville is an ideal place to serve.