City Year Reviews

Updated October 16, 2014
Updated October 16, 2014
181 Reviews
3.7
181 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Love the idea of the company and you can be touched by the stories from the corps members (in 17 reviews)

  • High expectations for work with youth, which is hard to find in non-profits (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • Long hours worked with little recognition for efforts (in 43 reviews)

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

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Incredibly rewarding, challenging, and growing experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Corps Member/Team Leader in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Corps Member/Team Leader in San Jose, CA

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

    Pros

    As a Team Leader:
    - Sobrato AmeriCorps Subsidized Housing
    - The support from managers and Village team
    - Seeing the incredible impact and work your team does
    - Increase in stipend pay (appx. $75 bi-weekly increase)
    - Extremely humbling and growing experience
    - Networking/mentoring opportunities

    As a Corps Member (this includes TL Role):
    - Grows you in indescribable ways (patience, strength and resilience, time management, leadership, empathy, etc.)
    - Free VTA monthly transit pass!
    - Qualify for food stamps (appx. $194/month)
    - Program Managers, Team Leaders, and Staff genuinely care about your well-being and work/life balance
    - Very strong culture, mission, and values that push the organization to be truly ethical, purpose-driven, and passionate (Could be seen as a con to others)
    - Traditional school calendar work dates

    Cons

    As a Team Leader:
    - Due in-part from socialization/fraternization rules and the few others in your position, strong feeling of isolation and loneliness throughout the year.
    - Added responsibility and challenge to balance being more of a middle manager.

    As a Corps Member (this includes TL Role):
    - Rare to feel appreciated by the community and staff for your service (not to be expected but does make it harder)
    - The challenge and struggle it is to truly make an impact
    - The workload placed upon you is immense along with personal efforts to better support your students
    - 11 hour service days with 11 sick/vacation days for the year.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    The most rewarding and challenging year of my life.

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

    I have been working at City Year full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Build lasting relationships with students long after the year is over.
    Push yourself in ways you didn't think you could.
    Make a serious difference in the lives of the children you work with.

    Cons

    Little pay (but this isn't really a con because the idea is that you're volunteering essentially).
    Burned out coworkers who make the job harder.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide more opportunities for growth, both personally and financially.
    Don't sacrifice quality for quantity. It only hurts the students we serve.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    A rewarding opportunity to be a part of a public school, but City Year does not uphold some of their own values

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

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

    Pros

    - An opportunity to be a contributing member of a public school without higher degrees or experience
    - Able to get to know students with one-on-one tutoring and mentoring time
    - Working at a school by adding resources that would not otherwise be there (you are not taking jobs, but adding more resources to the school)
    - Experience working closely with a team
    - Development or strengthening of work ethic

    Cons

    - 10-12 hour days with no lunch break; also sometimes required to work on weekends
    - A stipend that is almost impossible to live on (of all Americorps programs, City Year pays the least)
    - Little to no organizational support maintaining physical or mental health
    - A strong organizational culture, for me over-strong, including stringent uniform regulations, behavior requirements (IE. while in uniform you cannot cross the street without a walk signal, sit on public transportation, listen to head phones, etc), group physical training (PT), required call and response, if you are one minute late to work or to a meeting you may receive a disciplinary "occurrence", etc.
    - City Year does not uphold their advertised commitment to diversity, racial and otherwise; in City Year Boston, we did not even closely represent out student body as BPS students are about 80% of color while the City Year Boston corps was about 20% people of color last year
    - General ed trainings were often very time consuming, but unhelpful and social justice trainings were often dysfunctional

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Explore options to raise pay so that individuals who may not have a financial safety net are more able to participate, especially community members and people of color
    - Until it improves, do not mis-advertise City Year's diversity
    - Deepen support for corps members and consider options to reduce the number of things that corps members are responsible for
    - Consider allowing an evolution in City Year culture to match the current realities of the program
    - Bring in experts to do trainings, especially social justice trainings

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    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
  6.  

    Great workplace environment and clear organizational mission

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

    I have been working at City Year full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The best thing is by far the people. It is hard to find co workers and managers who care more about your professional development and wellbeing or who have a passion for the work like those that work for City Year.

    Cons

    Although it should be clear when working for a non profit the sheer around of hours and low pay take a toll on the long term prospects of people who work for the organization.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    City Year allowed me to finally understand the phrase "Talk is cheap."

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

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

    Pros

    CY lets you in on the ground floor on urban education. You get to know their families, their school admin, their school resource centers, their teachers, their after school program, their lunch lady and their janitor. Even though 11 hour days are hard to get used to at first, you will learn to appreciate the fact that you get to be with the kids all day and nobody else gets that chance. As a CY corps member, you get to be one of the few stable entities in a student's live for 10 months, and that is a huge deal when their life is filled with inconsistency.

    My site was only in its second year, but I still had the chance to participate in MANY leadership opportunities and interact with the community.

    Cons

    While the actual job of serving students on their campus (which is 85% of the job) is worth all the blood, sweat, and tears, the organization could use a lot of work when it comes to connecting with those on the front lines and those behind the scenes. Your program manager (and Team Leader) is with you at the school site, but the "office people" barely know what was up (again, I can only speak for my site). This showed most when it came to "office days." The benefits are horrible. Get on government assistance asap, you will earn every free service you get (food stamps, medical care, etc.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To those in the office: Talk is cheap. Be an idealist, not just an optimist like you preach to us.
    To those on the ground with us: Thank you for acting as a liaison between the office and the school, I couldn't do that gracefully, but you guys do it well.
    To both: You guys need to step it up with LACY (Leadership After City Year), I just left and it was very difficult to find the time to find a job. But, I found one, with full benefits (thank goodness).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Best Experience of my Life

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

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

    Pros

    Where else in the world do you get to be apart of changing the lives of children for the better. You get the opportunity to gain loads of quality experience. You will receive lots of training, get the opportunity to meet and build relationships with people you would have never imagined. Stick it out to the end and it will all be worth it.

    Cons

    You get the job, what you put into it...so if you don't put in a lot of effort, you won't get a lot from it. You will work really long hours and earn very little pay. Additionally, the job will take a toll on you emotionally, mentally and physically if you are truly invested and there will be times you feel its not worth all the effort.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Amazing Year of Service!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - City Year Corps Member in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - City Year Corps Member in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at City Year full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Changing childrens live is worth it!

    Cons

    Long hours, little to no pay!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    great culture, tough work, and idealism abound at City Year.

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

    I have been working at City Year full-time

    Pros

    amazing culture, upbeat and positive co-workers, transparency, and diversity of the staff and corps.

    Cons

    pay, long hours, expectation of working beyond what is expected.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    for the leadership to lead by example when it comes to work-life balance.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Corps Member

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

    I have been working at City Year

    Pros

    -The students, the team I worked with, experience of working with a nonprofit and making a difference were all major pros to this experience. In addition they provide information for many other opportunities to volunteer or work after your service year.

    Cons

    -Really long hours for just a stipend. It is hard to manage but definitely doable. I think the pros far outweigh the cons

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Let those applying for such a serious commitment know more about what they are signing up for.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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