A team of young people is dedicating their lives to making sure each student in Detroit has a mentor and friend.
City Year corps members don't make much money and they work long hours, but the results show and their help is making a dramatic difference for students in Detroit Public Schools.
“Our corps members, they’re all 18-25, they commit to one year to be there every single day for students and they’re building the one on one relationships with students,” Andrew Stein of City Year Detroit said.
Each morning, 71 City Year Detroit Corp members head into Detroit Public Schools dedicated to improving the lives and education of students.
“When those students show up, despite some of the stress they’re experiencing outside the school building that the first thing they see when they show up are their City Year corps members outside of the building cheering for them and high-fiving them and giving them a hug and saying I’m glad to see you at school today,” Stein said.
These corps members are the one constant for the students who may be dealing with hunger, homelessness or problems learning.
“There’s so many things I like about her,” Burns Elementary 4th Grader Nyema Passmore said of her corps member.
“She’s always there for me,” student Charae White said.
It’s a sacrifice, corps members make less than $1,000 a month working 10 to 12 hours days in the schools, but the results show.
“Schools that partner with city year are two to three times more likely to see gains on their state and literacy assessment,” Stein said. “We’ve seen schools where there’s almost a 33% decrease in students who are chronically absent.”
At Burns Elementary 80-percent of the students tutored by City Year corps members improved on state assessments of math, but now that’s all in jeopardy.
“The White House budget that came out last week proposed to eliminate funding for AmeriCorps across the country which would be incredibly challenging for organizations like City Year but organizations across the county that are doing this type of work,” Stein said.
A devastating thought for the 5,000 Detroit students these All Stars serve.
“My teacher always says she wouldn’t know what to do without her and I think I wouldn’t know what to do without her either,” White said of her City Year corps member.
To make a donation to City Year Detroit, visit https://www.cityyear.org/detroit/support-us .