City Year

www.cityyear.org
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City Year Reviews

Updated January 26, 2015
Updated January 26, 2015
30 Reviews
2.0
30 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
City Year President Michael Brown
Michael Brown
30 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Love the idea of the company and you can be touched by the stories from the corps members (in 18 reviews)

  • Helping students, making a difference (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Long hours worked with little recognition for efforts (in 44 reviews)

  • Also - if Corps members around you decide to be negative, it's hard to fight it (in 37 reviews)

More Highlights

30 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Unprofessional + exploitative

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Corps Member
    Former Employee - Corps Member

    I worked at City Year

    Pros

    If you have moved to a new city and don't know anyone, this is a great way to make long term friends and all be in a similar financial situation. Establishing rewarding relationships with students is life-changing, and it is a perspective everyone should have in order to advocate for underserved schools and communities.

    Cons

    corps members are often exploited in order to build City Year's face, City Year's organizational structure is an extremely wide spectrum, corps members are often placed in classes that they are not qualified to assist students in, City Year training is often facilitated by team leaders and program managers, neither of which are qualified enough to effectively train corps members to tutor and mentor students. The idea is heroic, the reality of the idea is placing young kids (fresh out of college) in high priority schools with terrible training. Simply being a presence isn't enough for these students and their schools.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    increase stipend significantly, train corps members heavily, let corps members evaluate experiences, their PMs, and TLs on a monthly basis, make corps members take more "tests" before being accepted so they are placed in classes that they are most likely to effectively tutor students in.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Motivation drained by bureaucracy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Corps Member in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Corps Member in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at City Year full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Little tiny glimmers of joy from interactions with students from diverse stories and backgrounds. Bonding with others on the team with how much we are struggling to balance life.

    Cons

    Everything else. This org has potential to have a really genuinely positive image and mission but it is blatantly clear that the biggest concern is image and maintaining numbers. Everything is image centered. I learned more about City Year's image in basic training than I did anything useful to help me help myself during service. You're paid next to nothing to do 10x the work of any teacher. If I ever have to fill out another document that I end up throwing way with pointless data and unrealistic goals I will go crazy. Extremely poor communication, weak support system, lack of accountability, and inhumane work hours. This shouldn't be called service if you prevent us from serving positively by sucking us of energy and draining our morale. At least with peace corps you actually get to do more without bureaucracy and image getting in the way.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus your priorities. Be realistic. We are human. We have to take care of ourselves to take care of others. Students first? No, me first, then students. I must be at my best to serve my best.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Corps member

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Corps Member in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Corps Member in New York, NY

    I have been working at City Year

    Pros

    The children. You have the ability to meet a lot of wonderful individuals. The staff at the school was also very nice. Lots of responsibility given to you.

    Cons

    The pay. The long hours. The cult like syndrome. Brainwashing. If your different you will not be encouraged

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Appreciate the uniqueness of all your corps members. Dont try to make everyone conform. This is not the us marine corp. Its the least you can do if you are going to be exploiting these gifted youth for 3 dollars an hour!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great impact, frustrating bureacracy snd politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Manager
    Former Employee - Program Manager

    I worked at City Year full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    You get to work in a sector that had a profound impact on peoples lives and a chance to take on significant responsibility.

    Cons

    The environment can be very gossipy and toxic. People are constantly positioning themselves for promotions and egos can get in the way of doing whats best for students.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on creating a stronger culture for staff and provide better training and support for staff to do their work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Good mission, poor execution

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Corps Member in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Corps Member in Washington, DC

    I worked at City Year full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    This is a great AmeriCorps program - it's well respected outside of the community. The uniform is iconic.
    This job was a good after college job.

    Cons

    At least in the DC location, the upper management doesn't care at all about how they treat the corps members. It seems that they see CMs as unimportant since they are only there for a year. CMs are berated for not being able to sit for 8 hours during training days (ha, sorry, we're humans) and expected to be at school (at least in DC) from 8am until 6pm every day with a salary of under $1,000/month (AmeriCorps makes slave labor legal since it's volunteer work). There are no opportunities for personal growth. All of the presentations by in-company employees are obviously only done to fulfill requirements of AmeriCorps quotas for training/personal development hours.
    I cannot see how anyone does this for more than one year. The hours, terrible pay, and rotten apples in the staff make it hard to feel like an idealist.
    I would have quit by November if I didn't love the kids I worked with in the schools.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Care about the opinions of your corps members, see yourself as a change agent in the organization. Focus on diversity beyond race, and stand up when you hear homophobic/sexist/transphobic language. Be in schools more. Quit with the buzzwords - just make it obvious that you care.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Organization was a joke, but working with students was rewarding

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at City Year full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Mentoring and tutoring students was one of the greatest rewards at this job. The students were grateful to have someone closer to their age that was invested in their progress and educational future.

    Cons

    The organization is too focused on growth and should be spending its resources on training and current employee support. Every service project that was attempted was much more of a photo op than a project meant to do any good. Additionally, the "culture" of this organization was oppressive and belittling--we were constantly forced to do chants and cheers in front of students as well as have a forced, hokey positive persona.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on crafting an organizational culture that is based more on skills and actions rather than promoting those who are the loudest chanters and performers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great mission - smart leaders, but poor HR practices

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at City Year full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The work this organization does is amazing. They have focused their impact in recent years and it is great to see the impact they have with children and in communities. I worked in the Boston headquarters and found most other HQ employees to be as passionate as those in the communities.

    Cons

    While the leadership team is made up of very smart people, the HR practices can be disheartening - preferential hiring/promotions based on history rather than skills / recent contributions / capability. Poor judgment around setting up effective department structures.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a strong, professional head of HR to change the way you hire and manage your talent. Focus on talent, not history with the organization. Reward individuals with strong performance and manage the performance of those who are lacking.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Service and experience.. Horribly inept organization

    Former Employee - Corps Member in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Corps Member in Washington, DC

    I worked at City Year full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Working with the kids. Extremely eye-opening and positive experience with the children.

    Cons

    Anything that has to do with the program was horrendous. From the creepy CEO, who hits on the young women relentlessly, to the ridiculously under-qualified staff; City Year is a farce of an organization. The road to hell is paved in good intentions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit.

  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Ups and Downs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Corps Member in Orlando, FL
    Current Employee - Corps Member in Orlando, FL

    I have been working at City Year full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Great relationship building and invaluable experiences

    Cons

    Petty Work environment during training. Upper-management does not treat Corps-members like adults. Pay is very little for working so hard. Allotted very little time to spend with family.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    I expected more

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at City Year

    Pros

    Very socially conscious, very connected to the community, and the potential to do substantial good for people who need it. Can be very demanding, but in a good way. Relatively easy to see the impact of your work.

    Cons

    A lot varies depending on what city you're in. From what I've heard, some cities have fantastic staff and team members, whereas others have hired team members that are extremely unprofessional on a daily basis. At my site, I never had a problem with any of the staff: they were all fantastic, really approachable people, who were always willing to help out or provide guidance in terms of my objectives.

    Having said that, you get worked like a dog if you're a team member (I can't say for staff, but I can imagine it'd be similar). Expect weekend work and overtime.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'd suggest a no-tolerance policy for team members regarding behavior and professionalism.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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