Companies sponsor City Year’s service in Duval County schools

Jacksonville Financial News and Daily Record

At an Oct. 9 ceremony, City Year AmeriCorps members pledged to make a difference in the lives of Duval County Public Schools students.

City Year, an education-focused nonprofit that unites teams of young people for a year of full-time service in the nation’s highest-need schools, launched its year of service in Jacksonville this month at City Hall.

Local education, community and business leaders, including Santhea Brown, wife of Mayor Alvin Brown; school Superintendent Nikolai Vitti; and Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman joined City Year AmeriCorps members as they took their pledge.

“City Year inspires children to set high expectations and work hard to achieve their full potential,” said City Year Jacksonville Board Chair Kim Ward. “Their energetic and highly motivated corps members are there for our students every day, all day, year after year.”

On the national level, nearly 50 percent of dropouts come from only 10 percent of schools. In Jacksonville, the average graduation rate in some of the schools where City Year serves is about 69 percent.

Comcast and NBCUniversal sponsor opening day ceremonies at all 25 City Year locations and have provided more than $80 million in cash and in-kind support to the organization since 2001. The number of corps members has quadrupled during that time, from 700 to more than 2,800.

Other sponsors include Aramark (uniform sponsor), Acosta Sales & Marketing, CSX, EverBank, Florida Blue, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sea Best and Wells Fargo.

To learn more about City Year, visit cityyear.org.