City Year Reviews | Glassdoor

City Year Reviews

Updated February 26, 2017
657 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.5
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City Year CEO Michael Brown
Michael Brown
251 Ratings

657 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • great organization where you really feel you are making a difference in the community and schools (in 28 reviews)

  • The biggest variable might be city: CY in bigger cities tends to have more specialized support for Corps members but also less flexibility (in 55 reviews)

Cons
  • Can be challenging for people who are not prepared to work long hours (in 174 reviews)

  • where you work for free to help recruit new Corps members) or (in 116 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Flawed but Good-Hearted"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - City Year Corps Member in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - City Year Corps Member in Los Angeles, CA

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

    Pros

    The kids are incredible! In general, I found leadership to be helpful and intensely caring.

    Cons

    There are two cultures at City Year: City Year culture and the SJW culture. I loved the first, but I did not fit into the second.

    Advice to Management

    I would ask City Year management to pick partner schools and partner teachers that both understand our mission and want us in the classroom, doing the job we were hired to do.


  2. "Corps Member"

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

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

    Pros

    Get to work with students and help them grow and reach their potential.

    Cons

    The hours are long and pay is not there but the experience is what you make and if you go in acknowledging that this will be the most challenging and frustrating work years of your life the job will be much less stressful.


  3. "Senior Corps Team Leader"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Team Leader in Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - Team Leader in Columbus, OH
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Doing impactful work in underserved communities
    -As a corps member they are really dedicated to your professional development. It is really on you to make things happen though
    -Corporate partners and sponsors are committed to providing assistance in the forms of donations, mentoring, and shadowing opportunities
    -Work with an amazing team of people of similar age to you
    -Great opportunity if you are taking a gap year to figure out future career moves because it is only a one year commitment
    -$5500 education award after completing service that can be put towards loans or furthering education
    -Lots of space and opportunity to create structures and initiatives at your specific school site
    -You can really impact the lives of others whether it be team members, school culture, or just the youth that you serve as a mentor, tutor, and role-model to
    -Committed to appreciation and self care because the education and teaching professions can be a thankless job
    -Provides a ton of space for you to share perspective and also reflect on the work you are doing

    Cons

    -It can be tough working in underserved communities where sometimes you do not feel equipped to handle all that comes with it. Tough school environments, students can exhibit behaviors that are challenging.
    -Funding is a huge issue when trying to implement change. School may not have the funding to give to run a great event or it can be tough inkinding from other organizations
    -Literally working to undo years of economic and educational disenfranchisement
    -Very low pay. It is a living stipend not an hourly or salaried gig so sometimes you feel like you are putting in so much time and energy and not seeing the economic benefit for yourself. Truly have to be willing and committed to volunteerism and service to others
    -Must wear a uniform

    Advice to Management

    This work is needed. Continue to adapt practices, recruit top talent, and improve the program and corps member experience so that this is an attractive program


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  5. "Corps Member"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at City Year full-time

    Pros

    Work to fight for education equity and social justice

    Cons

    10+ hour days for very little pay


  6. "A Great Year"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at City Year full-time

    Pros

    The relationships built within the City Year community (and of course with your students and school community) over the year were tremendous and (for some) certainly lifelong. Some of the most passionate, dedicated individuals I have ever worked with.

    Cons

    Service can look like a lot of different things. Sometimes the vision for our work was not concise and resulted in workers being spread thin.


  7. "Know what you're getting in to, but rewarding experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newton, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newton, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Work with specific cohort of students over long period of time

    Cons

    Treated like volunteer, not employee

    Advice to Management

    More transparency to applicants about CY culture/values


  8. "Excellent skills gained for a good cause"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at City Year full-time

    Pros

    Will undoubtedly make a difference in the lives of the kids you serve (as well as to the teachers you support).
    Learn team-based skills, event planning, curriculum and youth development. Lots of marketable skills.
    Strong community culture.
    Many sites provide free transit passes so you can get to your schools.

    Cons

    Strong community culture. (Is also a pro. Depending on your personality, you might love the culture or hate it.)
    Not necessarily a strong con, but be aware you will wear a uniform.
    Low pay.
    CY struggles with attracting a diverse corps, partially because of insufficient support for low socio-economic and minority members as well as the fact that the low pay means CMs may rely on financial safety nets from back home (and those people without outside support find the program hard to survive).

    Advice to Management

    Increase support and recruitment for low-income and minority members.
    Lobby congress to STOP TAXING the ed award.
    It would be a huge positive if more sites partnered with their cities and landlords to offer subsidized or lower rent for corps members.


  9. "Invaluable Service Opportunity with Many Challenges"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - City Year Corps Member in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - City Year Corps Member in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    You will make lifelong friends through City Year, not only with corps members, but also with teachers, staff, community members you see on your daily commute. Your students will love you immeasurably and teach you powerful and unexpected lessons, if you prove to be a loyal, determined, and compassionate advocate to them.

    You will learn to live on a tight budget. If you are so inclined, you will learn very much about social justice issues, education policy issues, how a school functions, how people of different walks of life perceive the world. You will work in a very diverse setting. People will respect you for your service, and sometimes even stop you on the street or metro to thank you. This is a chance to learn the meaning of service!

    Cons

    Some consider many of City Year's policies to be...draconian. Most commonly, people have an issue with wearing the uniform, which is pretty unflattering and made of a material that seems to trap sweat without actually warming you. You cannot wear headphones while wearing the uniform, you cannot jaywalk, you cannot curse. You have to act like an upstanding citizen in the public eye, a problem for some.

    On that note, you will also meet some very big personalities in City Year (many of whom may be much younger than you -- you have to be 18 to serve) who will make themselves known throughout the year. You will have to mingle with them because City Year is big on forcing everyone to know each other and get "squishy" which essentially means to open up to strangers. Since this is many corps members' first full-time job, many people need a lot of guidance and managing...which results in staff members talking down to us as a group. You will have to be willing to hold your peers accountable and, oftentimes, find it within yourself to have the patience of a saint.

    It will be difficult to describe to people who are not involved in public service exactly what it is that you do. Friends in the private sector sometimes may pity you for living on a stipend and having to commute to an area of the city that may have a reputation for being dirty, unsafe, a place to avoid. Many people on the outside will question why you serve and they will cite many reasons to explain why students in under-resourced communities don't perform as well as others. These reasons will offend you because you will have much more proximity to the situation than ever before, and you will see that everything is more complicated than you suspected, there is no one cause to blame for the achievement gap, and the people in the community you serve are beautiful people who are doing the best they can with what they have. Knowing all this can cause you to resent a lot of what goes on in the world that never bothered you before.

    Advice to Management

    Expect professionalism from corps members. It is noble to give people second and third chances since this is most corps members' first full-time job. But if they prove to be unfit to serve and cause a lot of problems, please let them go...do it for the children.


  10. "First Year Corp Member"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at City Year full-time

    Pros

    Rewarding working with the student.
    Fun cultural environment.

    Cons

    sometimes too idealistic, and not transparent enough with HQ.


  11. "Team Leader"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Team Leader in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Team Leader in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great organization to #makebetterhappen and learn

    Cons

    The pay is not the best.



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