Choosing to Serve Where Most Needed

You’re in the middle of filling out your City Year application, and while most of you are applying directly to one of our 21 site locations, some of you are applying to “Serve Where Most Needed,” which is our national pool.

For applicants, “Serve Where Most Needed” may sound vague. Let’s dive into the mystery behind “Serve Where Most Needed (SWMN)”.

What does Serve Where Most Needed mean and how is the process different?

When you do not have a preference of where you want to apply or you feel that you simply want to go where the most applicants are needed, you have an option to choose “Serve Where Most Needed” as your site selection on your City Year application. This means that your application will be submitted to City Year’s National office for review. Qualified applicants will be invited for a screening interview, which takes place over the phone. If you are selected to move on, your application is matched with a site that has the most need. You will have your final interview with that site, and the selections committee at the site will make a final decision on your application.

Serve Where Most Needed “Myth Busters”

  • Does choosing Serve Where Most Needed (SWMN) mean that I am considered at multiple sites?

No. When you submit your application to Serve Where Most Needed, National Recruitment decides where you should be placed after the screening process. We send your application to one site, and one site only. City Year has a policy that we only accept one application per individual in one year, so whether you choose a site or you submit your application to the National pool, you will ultimately only be considered for service at one site.

  • Should I choose SWMN if I can’t make up my mind between my top 5 site choices?

No. If you’re considering several sites and you can’t make up your mind, choosing SWMN is not the answer. Do more research on the sites and cities that you’re looking at and call those sites for more details – they love to talk to prospective applicants about what makes them unique. Each site is different- not just because of their location. So if you’re interested in a certain program or working with a certain age group, doing a bit more digging and narrowing your choices is definitely more effective than leaving your decision up to SWMN, since you may end up placed at a site that wasn’t on your list to begin with.

  • Does SWMN take specific site preferences into consideration?

No. Essentially SWMN means that you are prepared to go anywhere – thus, we can’t take specific site or city requests.  However, we do take certain preferences that you might have into consideration such as site size, geographical region, specific age group you want to work with and any financial restrictions. Stating these preferences will not hurt you or count against you in an interview, so if you have a question or a preference, let us know!

  • Can I apply to City Year London or City Year South Africa through SWMN?

No. London and South Africa are City Year’s international affiliates and are not part of the U.S. application process. SWMN means being open to any of City Year’s US locations.

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