A total of 124 recent graduates from the University of California, Riverside have applied to the nationwide City Year program this year, making it the college with the most applicants across the nation for the fifth consecutive year. The university also tops the list for the highest number of confirmed hires with a total of 50.
City Year is one of the largest members of Americorps, a federally funded collective of national service programs that were created in order to bring critical services to areas of need. City Year focuses on providing education to students living in areas with high levels of poverty, and to individuals who may face obstacles that hinder their ability to get to school on a daily basis and negatively affect their academic performance. Areas served include some of the most at-risk schools and districts in the nation.
The City Year program partners up with schools in an effort to provide additional support in forms of academic, emotional and social support, including one-on-one or group tutoring, phone calls to students’ family members updating them on academic progress and running after-school clubs and service projects. Members who join City Year Americorps spend 11 months full-time in the program serving students both inside and outside of the classroom.
Although the total number of UCR applicants has dropped by 11 from last year’s 135 applicants, the university still maintains a large number of alumni who are interested in the program. Bert Rivera, the West Coast regional recruitment director at City Year, believes that although young people have become increasingly disinterested in participating in service programs, students at UCR do not appear to follow this trend.
Rivera told UCR Today, “A lot of the students are first-generation college students who can relate to the struggles of the students they’ll be working with. They know how important hard work is. The community service isn’t a status thing. The students are just real; they’re about doing the hard work and it shows, because it pays off.”
In order to work at City Year, applicants must endure a selective process with only one in four applicants being chosen. Tangible benefits of working for City Year include receiving a $5,775 scholarship upon completion, a network of over 23,000 alumni and health insurance and loan forbearance to participants.
Across the country, the program has around 3,000 positions to fill in 28 cities. The next deadline to apply for the program is on September 30, 2016.