To the City Year Community:

With a heart full of gratitude for all those who have served in the City Year corps, and everyone who has built, championed and supported City Year, I am writing to share that I will be stepping down as CEO of City Year after this school year, proudly graduating with our 30th anniversary corps in June. It has been an enormous privilege to help found City Year and serve the organization for three decades, including the last twelve years as CEO.

In the coming weeks, Co-Chairs Jonathan Lavine and David Cohen, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, will appoint a committee to launch a national search for City Year’s next CEO. The search will be open to internal and external candidates with a focus on identifying the strongest and most qualified candidate to serve as City Year’s next CEO.

Thanks to the investment of so many staff leaders, champions, partners and the inspiring service of our AmeriCorps members, I am leaving the role of CEO with the confidence that the organization is strong and on a clear path for increased impact and scale.

Looking back from the initial business plan that my co-founders and I developed in 1987, it is sometimes hard to believe that City Year today is an organization with 3,000 AmeriCorps members serving more than 200,000 students in 29 cities nationwide, and has affiliates in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

More than 30,000 City Year corps members have worn the City Year jacket since 1988—inspiring me every day with their unstoppable idealism and relentless commitment to help others. Together, they have generated more than 150 million hours of service, making a difference in the lives of students, schools and communities, while earning more than $50 million in scholarships from the National Service Trust and gaining lifelong leadership skills.

Even more important than our impressive past, the future of City Year is so very promising. We have a clear mission to help students and schools succeed by increasing the urban graduation pipeline, a sound strategy for success, strong evidence of impact and a track record of helping to inspire, protect and grow the modern national service movement, especially its signature program, AmeriCorps.

We also have tremendously talented staff in service across the country, a leadership team with a track record of success, a highly committed donor community, remarkable school partners and deeply dedicated local and national board members who are personally committed to the organization's success.

Most importantly, every day, in 350 partner schools nationwide, our dedicated AmeriCorps members are creating caring relationships that help empower students to build social-emotional and academic skills for school and life success, while they themselves gain lifelong citizen leadership and career skills.

As I have reflected on my 30-year journey with this organization, I came to the conclusion that the end of this milestone year is the right time for me to begin a new chapter, which I plan to dedicate to leading on initiatives that are important to me in the nonprofit, philanthropic and social change arenas and mentoring and teaching a new generation of nonprofit leaders and social entrepreneurs.

I will remain actively involved in supporting City Year’s success, albeit from a different posture. After concluding my service as CEO at the end of June, I will serve City Year as a senior adviser through June 2020, supporting the leadership transition and The City Year Campaign to advance our Long-Term Impact Plan.  I will also continue to serve as a charter trustee on the City Year National Board of Trustees.

I am profoundly grateful to City Year’s supporters and partners—individuals and families, companies, foundations, school districts, school leaders and teachers, local leaders, the Corporation for National and Community Service, state service commissions, public officials and our dedicated local and national board members—whose generosity and partnership have provided the resources and leadership that make our work possible. I am also thankful to my colleagues in the national service field—collectively we have engaged more than one million AmeriCorps members in service, generating millions of service hours and developing a committed cohort of citizen leaders.

Thirty years ago, I co-founded City Year because I was inspired by the idea that one day the most commonly asked question of a young person should be, "Where will you do your service year?"

Today, I believe more than ever in voluntary national service—because for three decades I have had the privilege of witnessing the powerful idealism of our remarkable City Year AmeriCorps members. To everyone who has ever worn the City Year jacket, I want to say thank you, and let you know that you have been, and will always be, a deep source of inspiration to me.

It has been the honor of a lifetime to do this work, arm in arm with the tremendous idealists of City Year who have become my colleagues, my friends and my extended family.

My gratitude knows no bounds.

Yours in service,

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