EACE Students to Visit City Year Philadelphia & City Year DC (RTRW Spotlight)
At the University of Maryland, I work on career advising with arts and humanities majors. Though each student’s concerns are unique, an impressive number of students will share similar sentiments with me during appointments. These students confide they don’t entirely know what they want to do after graduation, but they are certain they want to make the world a better place. Oh, and graduate school may be in the cards within the next few years. When I hear these kinds of interests, I always make sure to educate them about Americorps programs, especially City Year.
From my observations of City Year, corps members get to make an incredible impact in just 10 months. I have no doubt they are challenged every day by their work in classrooms here in DC and around the country, but the program seems to support them well, providing the leadership skills they need to succeed. Many of the college students I work with these days are looking for a short-term opportunity (often 1 year) that will allow them to “get their feet wet” before committing to graduate school or a particular career path, so the structure of City Year seems to fit well with these goals. The students I work with also appreciate the opportunity to request certain City Year sites around the country. UMD students have been corps members not only here in DC, but also in New York, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and even Seattle.
For some students, they choose their site because it is closer to their hometown; others see this as a great chance to try out a new city. For those seniors interested in graduate school in the future, I make sure they are aware of City Year’s “Give a Year” tuition reduction arrangement with many graduate programs. What a great way to give back, build your credentials for graduate school applications and possibly earn a substantial reduction in future graduate school tuition.
Regardless of the path students find themselves on after City Year, I believe a City Year Corps Year provides invaluable leadership skills, great insight into one’s own skills, values and interests and, most importantly, the chance to prove that even one person can make a difference here in DC or around the country. EACE is excited to host two visits to City Year during the Road Trips to the Real World program in January. Encourage your students to check out City Year Philadelphia on January 4 and/or City Year DC on January 12. During both trips, students will hear from current Corps members and tour City Year schools.
Kate Juhl, Program Director
College of Arts & Humanities
University of Maryland