City Year Detroit’s 101 volunteers ready to make a difference

Detroit ā€” Breyanna Sylvia-Moals is looking to make a difference in a kid’s life over the next year.

“I’m hoping I can make things better for someone,” the 18-year-old from Southfield said. “I’m really looking forward to working with the kids this year.”

Sylvia-Moals is one of more than 100 who have volunteered to help students in public schools across Metro Detroit as a corps member of City Year Detroit.

The group is the local affiliate of a national nonprofit service organization and it held a special ceremony Friday to kick off a new school year of service.

It was one of 24 rallies across the country held by City Year.

Detroit’s ceremony was held in the corporate auditorium of Compuware Corp.

This year’s class of 101 corps members was joined by more than 100 family members, City Year Detroit alumni, officials and sponsors.

Volunteers like Sylvia-Moals donned their uniforms for the event: fire-engine red jackets and tan khaki pants.

The Detroit rally was part of a nationwide event for more than 2,500 volunteers in 24 cities across the country.

City Year Detroit officials said the group of volunteers is its largest in its 13-year history.

Last year, it had 81 volunteers and started out with 30 corps members in 1999.

Volunteers will spend the next 10 months working in 11 Metro Detroit schools, providing more than 2,000 students with tutoring, mentoring and after-school programs.

The schools are located in Detroit, Harper Woods, River Rouge and Taylor.

Breyanna’s step-mom, Marquita Sylvia, attended Friday’s ceremony to support her.

“I’m very proud of her,” said Sylvia, 47, of Southfield.

“She wants to be a social worker. This is the perfect opportunity for her to do some community service and it helps her get ready for college.”

As part of the event, the group honored Dan Varner, CEO of Excellent Schools Detroit.

Excellent Schools Detroit is a coalition of educational and community groups working to improve Detroit’s schools.

The group presented Varner with his own red City Year Detroit jacket during the ceremony.

Also at the event, Mary Beth Halprin, a City Year Detroit Board member and vice president for Comcast Co., announced a new partnership with Eastern Michigan University that will provide scholarships to corps members.


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