City Year is part of the Americorps NCCC program, a Federal residential program for young adults interested in serving their communities. Like its predecessor from the Depression era, the Civilian Conservation Corps, Americorps volunteers help with environmental projects. But the Americorps mission has been broadened to include education, safety, disaster relief, and other needs that are not currently being met.
City Year grew out of a summer program in Boston, Massachusetts, and currently has members in locations around the country, including Chicago, IL, San Jose, CA, Providence, RI, Columbus, OH, Columbia, SC, and San Antonio, TX. City Year corps members must be between the ages of 17 and 23 and include college graduates, high school graduates and young people without high school diplomas. They choose to devote one year of full-time work to serving in a community wherever the need is greatest.
Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., the Serve-a-thon is an annual event organized by City Year. For one day a year, people in the community take time away from their everyday jobs and volunteer their time and efforts for special projects in their home cities. But every weekday, City Year corp members are active in teams of 10 to 12 people. After morning calisthenics, volunteers go to team projects, such as serving as teachers' aides in public schools, renovating housing, teaching health and public safety, or turning a vacant lot into a community garden. City Year provides an opportunity for young people to work for positive change in the communities of the United States.