We asked this year’s AmeriCorps members to help us better inform potential applicants and the incoming corps about their service year experience with City Year. We hope you use this a resource guide to ask questions, find out more about the opportunity to serve, and to prepare for your experience.


What is something family or friends asked you (or still ask you) about what you do at City Year and how would you (or do you) respond?

“Most people don't really know what City Year is or does, and how many aspects there are to our job. I give them the elevator speech every time and fill in with some details of my favorite moments as a corps member.”

“Sometimes others are confused how City Year differs from Teach For America or a full-time teaching role, and what our role in schools is—so I hit them with the elevator speech and explain the difference.”

“They ask me how the work is and I usually respond with it's hard.”

“They ask me if it's a ‘real job’ and I answer yes and provide them with a detailed description of what I do.”

“My family and friends don't understand how much or how well we use data. Our brand is more focused on our idealism and energy, but not as much on the quality of our interventions.”

“They still ask me what I do, and it is hard to explain our role, so I still describe it as a teacher's aide.”

“Everyone thought I was going to be a teacher's assistant, but we're there to provide support and mentorship for the students in these high need schools.”

“My family and friends always ask me why so far away from home. I explain to them that I applied for most needed and NH is where I was most needed.”

“Why did I go so far from home? What do I do every day? I usually respond with a play by play of my day and fun stories of the children.”

“My family and friends are always asking me why I work for City Year when the workload is so heavy and the pay is so low. Although this can be a hard question to hear, I think it's one of the easiest to answer. I just say that the work that I do with City Year is so rewarding and so important that I'd rather devote all my energy and time to that cause than work somewhere that I don't really care about. There are students who need more support and role models from adults in their community and my small sacrifices are worth their future success for our society as a whole.” 


Also check out:

Applying to City Year: What I Wish I’d Known

Applying to City Year: Best Resources Once Accepted

Applying to City Year: What Has Surprised You Most

Applying to City Year: Favorite Thing About Manchester, NH


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