City Year Reviews | Glassdoor

City Year Reviews

Updated August 12, 2017
42 reviews

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City Year CEO Michael Brown
Michael Brown
8 Ratings

42 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Long hours, not enough pay or sick days (in 224 reviews)

  • Work life balance is only available if you work hard at it (in 51 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Long year with little benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Corps Member in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Corps Member in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    -work with kids who will change your life

    Cons

    -work 55+ hour weeks for very little pay (I took home $230 a week after the gov't taxed the stipend). You'd make more at 40 hours a week at a minimum wage job. This makes paying rent and other bills in the very expensive cities that City Year operates in hard to manage. Several well-intending friends of mine were forced to quit because they could not support themselves without outside help.

    -company culture is childlike and straight up degrading. Singing white-washed summer camp songs to middle schoolers in the early morning is NOT productive. When we attempted to change this and instead play sports or chat with students, we were ridiculed by management. Everything is done to uphold the city year standard.

    -City years are not safe when wearing bright red jackets in many neighborhoods where the schools we work in are located (because city year is, understandably, controversial - who wants a bunch of wealthy white kids infiltrating their schools?). I understand this and when we tried to not wear the jackets on our commutes (to avoid threats and sexual harassment) we were once again ridiculed by management and received "occurrences" (points that can add up to get you fired)

    -little to no work-life balance. CY preaches self-care, but holds you at school until 9pm some nights to help at events. Many CMs take on second jobs to make ends meet, thus filling their weekends as well.

    -CY is a mentally draining year - friends and I experienced flare ups and mental health crises and had nowhere to turn due to lack of proper insurance and miserable working hours

    -CY sends dangerously undertrained young people into schools where properly trained teachers are desperately needed - on little sleep, city years are expected to run classroom operations all day as well as an after school program - at my school, we were the sole afterschool providers, and received no training on this

    -forced team bonding that is unusual/uncomfy for the workplace. professionalism is drilled into us, yet we are expected to talk in our teams about our deepest feelings.

    -higher ups are nowhere to be found when issues strike

    -CY boston does not tell you what school you are placed in until after you have already been living in the city -there is zero consideration for where you live taken into account

    -the job description is so so vague - be ready to help with everything and anything at your school - often times we were pulled from our classroom duties to assist in activities that we had not been trained in nor were we supposed to be doing

    -CY is not nearly as diverse as marketing materials portray

    -its a hard, long year, be ready to be disrespected and brainwashed. city year convinces you that you are not doing enough to help the community, convinces you that you are a bad person


  2. "Accountant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at City Year full-time

    Pros

    overall company mission is a good one

    Cons

    the finance department is very poorly managed

  3. "Horrible support system and misinformed staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Working with your students and school staff is the only upside to being involved with City Year in any way.

    Cons

    City year itself is unorganized and misinforms its staff and new hires. Upon hiring me I was told my child would be covered under their health insurance and that I would receive childcare assistance. Neither of those were true.


  4. "AmerCorps Member"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Brooklyn, NY
    Current Employee - AmeriCorps Member in Brooklyn, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Great way to build resume and references.
    -Career workshop Opportunities
    -If interested in education, it is a great way to test your interest.

    Cons

    -Extremely Low pay. Unless you are not going to pay rent, I really do not recommend it. CY markets that it is possible to live off the stipend, but that is completely false. I have met a lot of Corps members that started off the year with absolutely no plans to work a second job, but end up having to pick up a part-time job (even with food stamps). The hours are about 40-50min a week, early mornings into the evening. Depending on the part-time job, you will have to work for at least 10-20 hours a week to get by (if not more). Your day job will already be exhausting enough, even without a part-time job.
    -They will make you work virtually all school holidays to make the minimum hours for the grant, but will waste your time doing team builders and other pointless activities. They did warn me of this aspect before starting, but the experience is much worse than they made it sound.

    I hear a lot of alumni adopt the phrase "it'll be the hardest year of your life," be warned that it will not be difficult because of the job itself. It will be hard because you will be exhausted and stressed with trying to figure out how to make rent and if you can stretch your dollar to make lunch.

    Advice to Management

    Stop manipulating young people to work for what can be fairly described as slave work, the stipend is bellow minimum wage and currently averages to about 3.50.


  5. "Bureaucrats"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - City Year Corps Member in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - City Year Corps Member in San Antonio, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The works you do with the kids is extremely fulfilling and worthwhile. Meet all sorts of people. Good job training for after.

    Cons

    The San Antonio site is in shambles. It's lost 20/90 corps members through quitting in the first semester alone. No, this job isn't for everyone, but there were a lot of cases where the employees could have been retained.

    Biggest con: the integrity of the company is non existent. In times of doubt, city year resorts to policies and antiquated rules in order to save their own butts. The administration does not operate to support its corps members, it operates to support itself. Corps members are just a cog in the wheel, replaceable.


  6. "Deeply Rooted and Cultivated "White Savior" Complex"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Corps Member in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Corps Member in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Being able to build relationships with youth

    Cons

    The company in it's entirety is a corrupt ploy to infiltrate and dilute culture rich communities by attacking the already unsound infrastructure of America's separate and unequal educational system.

    Advice to Management

    DE-FUND


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Horrible management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Corps Member
    Former Employee - Corps Member
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Mission-driven, hands on youth development experience, great career prospects for education professionals

    Cons

    Poor management, disrespectful, huge workload, training is not timely, no transparency, hypocritical business practices

    Advice to Management

    Do not place corps members in environments that will actively cause them to have negative experiences. On many occasions, it seemed my manager was more interested in keeping the site on track with performance outcomes than in ensuring their staff were actually able to function as human beings and do their jobs. Overall, a communication breakdown adversely affected my experience and made it seem like I was no more than a set of hands to the company.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Rough Working Conditions"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps Member in New York, NY
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps Member in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    City Year can have a really positive impact in the lives of young people.

    Cons

    Especially in New York, it is not possible to live on the stipend. The long hours make it difficult to find and sustain another job. In addition, as a City Year employee, you are not entitled to the breaks of other school personnel.

    Management treats corps members like they are disposable.

    Advice to Management

    Value and appreciate those who chose to spend a year of their life doing Americorps.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Program Leader"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    got to become real friends with my team of 6 other program leaders

    Cons

    Long hours (10-11hrs) everyday, makes it hard to have a needed 2nd job
    Low, taxed stipend, barely livable in the Silicon Valley (& only if you sign up for foodstamps)
    Treated like a children by upper management
    Upper management has no idea what is going on at site level

    Advice to Management

    Listen to Program Leaders, they are the ones who run your program
    Americore Program Leaders either need to work less hours or an increase in pay


  10. Helpful (3)

    "City Year or Burn Out Year?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Development Manager in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Development Manager in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at City Year (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Attracts a lot of great people, but unfortunately can't hold onto them (more below).

    Cons

    City Year expects aspirational things from it's employees - read: it asks employees to do way more then what is realistic and reasonable. It's very difficult to have a personal life working for City Year. There is an assumption/standard practice that employees will work well over 40 hours a week and deal with highly stressful situations that can be mentally and emotionally draining. City Year, however, offers very little in return to ensure the health and wellbeing of employees.

    Compensation at entry-level does not for standard quality of life. You won't save any money, it just barely gets you by on basic living expenses (and I don't even have loans or debts to pay off). The health insurances constrains your ability to see good doctors or specialists. Time off is 3 weeks of combined personal and vacation time (though the many hours I worked 60+ hours a week canceled that out and then some). The system for reviewing employee performance and making compensation increases is highly subjective and difficult to succeed in.

    There are a lot of double standards and uneven implementation of rules depending on who you are and where you sit in the food chain. Managers are largely hands-off and expect you to figure out it out yourself with very little guidance, direction or training.

    It is a recipe for burnout and turnover.


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