City Year Reviews | Glassdoor

City Year Reviews

Updated May 26, 2017
734 reviews

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3.5
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City Year CEO Michael Brown
Michael Brown
290 Ratings

734 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Long hours, not enough pay or sick days (in 205 reviews)

  • Work life balance is only available if you work hard at it (in 48 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "City Year San Jose"

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

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

    Pros

    City Year attracts top talent. You will work with incredibly smart and motivated people, who are here with a shared motivation of improving the lives and outcomes for the East San Jose community. City Year unlocks an incredible network (nonprofit, corporate, and education) to you. Staff development opportunities are important to the site, and something that I have seen be more recently invested in (than previous reviews indicate). If you love innovation and a supportive, collaborative, and informal work environment - this is for you! I consider it an honor to have been hired to work among what I consider to be the best of the best.
    Working with our AmeriCorps members is also truly inspiring. They work incredibly hard and give their everything to this year of service. Getting to know them and supporting them to find their career paths is very rewarding.

    Cons

    This is education reform work, this is nonprofit work, and this is social justice work - so it is HARD work! It is ever changing. We must innovate to stay cutting edge and to stay current in education reform. If you want a black and white job with set work hours, this isn't for you. If you are motivated first by money or notoriety, this isn't for you.
    The consequence of hiring top talent, training and developing them, then unlocking networks to them is a high staff turnover. Staff tends to stay on only a few years before they move on.
    It can also be challenging to support AmeriCorps members through their year of service because there are legitimate factors that make their year difficult (living on a stipend, housing, long hours). I have seen upper management working to alleviate all that they can, but it is a year of service tied to federal funding, so only so much can be done.

    Advice to Management

    I would encourage them to continue on the path we are on - investing in staff development, understanding and supporting the corps experience, and being selective and rigorous in the hiring process (because this really isn't for everyone).


  2. "You Get What You Give"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Team Leader in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Team Leader in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    No day is the same! Expect to be asked to do a variety of tasks. If you do not wish to go beyond your basic job description do not apply. City Year is a great resource for the community so if you aren't flexible this role might not be right for you.

    Lots of growth opportunities (if you choose to take them). City Year offers a lot of professional development opportunities. Here in San Jose there are staff members that are truly invested in your success and make themselves available if you have questions about their career paths. If you choose not to network outside your school team you miss out on great opportunities.

    Great organizational values that connect you to your service. City Year in itself allows you to grow personally and professionally. You get consistent feedback on how you can grow as a mentor, tutor, and teacher.

    The kids are amazing to work with and the community knows our work well.

    Cons

    The Bay Area is expensive. Plan to budget wisely, although the cost of living is manageable you may need to skimp on things like daily coffee runs.

     Working with diverse groups is always difficult. Expect to work collaboratively with other work styles that you may not be used to.

    The work is rewarding but very demanding. If you cannot handle high-stress, fast-paced work environments this may not be the role for you.

    Advice to Management

    Continue investing in the Corps experience. This work is amazing and I hope to see it remain possible for everyone that wishes to pursue a service year.


  3. "Team Leader (AmeriCorps member volunteer)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Team Leader in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Team Leader in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    As a City Year Americorps member I was a full time volunteer living on a stipend. My second year of service I was a team leader and was given numerous leadership opportunities through which I gained invaluable experience. During my time at City Year I came to see that they care deeply about the success of not only the students they serve but also the AmeriCorps member volunteers and their staff.

    Cons

    Working as a full time AmeriCorps member volunteer on a relatively small stipend was hard. The hours were long and often challenging. Knowing that as a volunteer I was only committed to 10 months of service made it easier for me to commit so much time and energy to the job. Leadership is often caught up in high level planning, sometimes it felt as though they did not appreciate the work being done on the ground day to day.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to support AmeriCorps members throughout their year of service and be sure that they feel appreciated.


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  5. "Hard but rewarding"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member in New York, NY
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    You'll form really close and amazing bonds with your team if you're lucky. Diverse team is a great opportunity to expand your worldview and learn from other people. The work with your kids is really rewarding in that you'll form strong attachments with them and will relish every accomplishment alongside them. CY is also a great resume step and professional growing experience. It is a well known org that looks good to future employers, and you'll learn a lot of skills and gain a lot of experience that will help you in future jobs (and in job interviews!). Great place to transition from college to the workforce, since you're surrounded by people your age who are in a similar spot professionally and you are constantly being given more training and development sessions.

    Difficult to have time for things outside of City Year and sleep, so say goodbye to that!

    Cons

    Long hours, extremely exhausting (physically, mentally and emotionally). Very high expectations. More responsibilities on the job than the stipend warrants. Very hard to live in New York on the stipend unless you have family to live with! Culture pieces can be weird (a lot of strange rituals, all the time) but is ultimately a nice glue to bring everyone together.

    Advice to Management

    Consider either increasing the stipend or decreasing the time/responsibilities of ACMs.


  6. "Team Leader, Previous AmeriCorps Member"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Team Leader in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Team Leader in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    This job provides each individual with a lot of growth opportunities, and professional development. From day one I was told not to come with any pre-conceived expectations about the organization, and that is because you have to be really flexible and open to doing things outside of your job description.
    This is a great program to provide service to an under-resourced community while building yourself up with skills that you might not have imagined you would accomplish.
    You get to work with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and ideologies and learn to collaborate with them and seek a common ground.
    You learn to multitask
    You get to meet amazing and resilient students that you get to build a bond with, and you get to tutor and inspire.
    You learn to manage up, provide effective and constructive feedback, reflect on your experiences and use that to build yourself up.
    You get what you put in, if you put yourself out there, you will gain more leadership skills and might even have the opportunity to lead your own project.

    Cons

    Long, draining hours.
    Low stipend- hard to live with (wage goes up when you move past the AmeriCorps Member position)
    Low resources, challenging work environment, having to find creative ways to support students that don't want your support
    Hard to work with people that think differently from you
    A lot of what you learn is a result of doing the work- learn by doing
    If you're easily stressed and put out by setbacks, this might not be the best environment for you.

    Advice to Management

    Get to know the ACMs, and find creative ways to train them early on to allow for maximum use of trainings.


  7. "AmeriCorps Member"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Students are the reason for everything.
    Management is good and provides feedback.
    Nice to work on a team with different personalities.
    Support from leadership is there.

    Cons

    Hours are long
    Pay is not great. It seriously does take a lot of budgeting and living within your needs.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to take feedback from AmeriCorps members and implement that feedback.


  8. "Review of City Year New York"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member in New York, NY
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Great networking opportunities and professional development sessions
    -Supportive community atmosphere

    Cons

    -Living stipend
    -Long hours
    -No say in school placement

    Advice to Management

    -Be more descriptive about job description when recruiting corps members


  9. "AmeriCorps Member"

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

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

    Pros

    Many opportunities for Professional Development
    Teamwork skills
    Leadership skills

    Cons

    Lack of support
    Poor training
    Long work hours with a lot of responsibilities

    Advice to Management

    Plan better training sessions
    Provide more support systems
    Remove non-essential responsibilities


  10. "Volunteering as a Living"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Jacksonville, FL
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Jacksonville, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You get to participate in really excellent work and connect with students on a deep level, you really get to invest in students lives and you learn a lot about the education system

    Cons

    You get paid so little for the work you're doing, an unclear job description leads to high quantity of work that usually doesn't get completed very well due to vague instructions. It's a hard year.

    Advice to Management

    Value the commitment your employees are making and use the feedback you've been receiving to actually do something about making the Jacksonville site better.


  11. ""Giving a Year": Not everything It's Made Out to Be, but Something Nonetheless"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corps Member in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Corps Member in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Serving a corps year is a unique way to get your foot in the door in education without paying to go to school or taking on the full responsibility of managing a classroom (although you may run afterschool programs).

    - By sheer necessity, City Year will improve your emotional intelligence and deescalation skills.

    Cons

    - Long hours, little pay.

    - Corps-like nature of City Year can be a turn-off for some (the uniform, rules like no J-walking or headphones in uniform, etc.)

    - Though City Year is a "majority minority" organization overall (people of color make up the majority of the organization as a whole), some sites like Boston have a diversity problem (the majority of the Boston corps is largely White).

    - City Year is designed for someone with no experience in education to be able to serve in a classroom. Arguably, corps members with no experience or training in education benefit more from the corps year than the students, who deserve trained and experienced teachers and tutors.

    Advice to Management

    View City Year as a temporary solution to the opportunity gap. Getting relatively inexperienced corps members in the classroom to provide more one-on-one attention is helpful, but ultimately, students in underfunded schools deserve the same opportunities and resources as other schools. They deserve trained and experienced adults. City Year should advocate for these adults and seek to run itself out of business or to eventually change missions and transform into City Year 3.0. This should take priority over expansion of City Year into new locations.


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