City Year: Winner's Statement

Social Capitalists

City Year

City Year -- honored to be twice designated a Fast Company Social Capitalist Award winner -- is dedicated to promoting, expanding and demonstrating the power of citizen service, civic engagement, and social entrepreneurship to strengthen democracy in communities across the United States and around the world.

In the words of City Year CEO and co-founder Alan Khazei: "Our core mission is to expand the place of national service in civic life in America and globally, and to enhance its power to improve our communities, country and world."

A fundamental component of this is the City Year youth corps, which unites diverse groups of young people between the ages of 17 and 24 who commit to a year of full-time rigorous service and to engaging others in service.

This year, the organization's 16th service year since being founded in 1988, City Year has 16 sites, with new sites in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Johannesburg, South Africa, joining established sites in Boston; Chicago; Cleveland; Columbia, S.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Detroit; New Hampshire; New York; greater Philadelphia; Rhode Island; San Antonio; San Jose/Silicon Valley; Seattle/King County; and Washington, DC.

During this service year more than 1,000 young leaders will complete more than 1.7 million hours of service. The corps members' service will include an emphasis on mentoring and tutoring children in partnership with public schools, organizing after-school and school vacation programs, and planning and leading community service projects.

Since its inception, City Year has graduated over 7,700 alumni; served 840,000 children; completed 11.8 million hours of service; partnered with more than 840 corporations and 1,800 service organizations; and engaged more than 860,000 citizens in service

City Year's funding is a model of a public-private partnership. City Year is a proud member of AmeriCorps, the federal service initiative, and every federal dollar has been matched by $1.47 from the private sector. Lead investors include the Atlantic Philanthropies and leading private sector institutions including Bank of America, Cisco, Comcast, CSX, and the Timberland Co.

"From our start in 1988, City Year has endeavored to be a true public-private partnership," said Michael Brown, City Year's President and Co-founder. "We are committed to working with and learning from business leaders and that is reflected not only in our deep corporate support but also in our best practices."

City Year's international involvement reflects the organization's commitment to expanding the power of citizen engagement as a means of strengthening democracy throughout the world. This dedication has manifested itself in a variety of ways from hosting visitors from around the world interested in establishing citizen service initiatives to the launch of City Year South Africa in early 2005 with 100 young South African corps members who will reflect the nation's diversity and are committed to South Africa's democracy. To help support the growth and development of a robust citizen service initiative, City Year established the Clinton Democracy Fellowship at City Year in 2001 to develop a global network of young leaders committed to strengthening democracy through citizen service.

In addition to establishing and expanding the power of service through national and international sites, City Year is actively engaged in non-partisan outreach to inform and engage policy makers and opinion leaders about the power of citizen service. Recent efforts include significant involvement in the mobilization of the nation's service organizations in response to proposed budget cuts to AmeriCorps.

Thus it is through practice and policy that City Year works toward the day that citizens of all ages and backgrounds will unite to serve, and that the most commonly asked question of an 18 year old will be: "Where are you going to do your service year?"

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The above information was provided by the profiled organization.