Letters to Leila:How to Prepare for a City Year

am frequently asked what I am looking for in an applicant for City Year. My answer is “There is not one cookie cutter answer to that question.”

Shortly following, I am usually asked the question “What can I do now to better prepare myself for the City Year experience?”

Here are some activities that my help you be better prepared to serve with City Year:

  1. Find a way to tutor or mentor youth: During your year at City Year you will have the opportunity to work with students to increase their proficiency in English and/or Math. It is advantageous to have some experience working with students in some capacity. This will allow you to increase your competence and confidence when entering the classroom for the first time as a City Year corps member.
  2. Align yourself with opportunities to be a part of a team: City Year Value #9: Teamwork. “We strive to work powerfully together in a unified effort to achieve our goals.” Corps members work on teams in schools; the more team experience you have, the better. Your pre-City Year exposure to teams will accelerate your ability to connect with you teammates, share ideas and be a cohesive unit in the school you serve.
  3. Utilize your access to your school, job or volunteer opportunity to sharpen your leadership skills: At City Year you will need to have the agility to lead people as well as follow them on the path to common goals. You will be given the space and resources to continue your leadership development, but it never hurts to get a head start.
  4. Just when you thought you read all that you need to know about City Year, read some more!: Corps members are really making an impact in communities all over the country. You should try and learn as much as you can about the work that you will be doing in the near future. If you prefer more tangible experiences connect with a City Year site closest to you and schedule a visit!

Interested in applying? Our next application deadline is November 15th, so apply now!

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