The power to be a successful young person

City Year is a non-profit organization that provides long term volunteering opportunities for young adults. Through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, we have been supporting City Year in the U.S. since 1988 when the charity was first established. In 2011 we extended our partnership to the U.K. and this year we expanded our support to City Year’s program in South Africa.

Expanding our support

City Year South Africa has been working with schools in Johannesburg, the country’s largest city for almost 15 years; impacting more than 20,000 children through one million hours of volunteering. Funding from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation is supporting a new team of young leaders – referred to as ‘City Year Service Leaders’, as they embark upon 10 months of full-time volunteering at a school in Johannesburg’s Alexandra township.

Sharing and gaining critical skills

The goal of the young leaders is to help improve the school children’s academic performance and self-esteem. One of the ways in which they do this is by supporting the after-school program which focuses on literacy, numeracy and life orientation. The young leaders also spend time in class during school hours, providing one-on-one support to students who are struggling.

Not only will these young people act as tutors, mentors and role models during their time as volunteers, they will also have an opportunity to participate in an internship at the end of program and gain critical workplace skills.

Commenting on our support in South Africa, Kerry Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation said, “Helping young people find the right path for success advances economic and social progress in the communities we serve, and we’re thrilled to build upon this work.”

Spotlight: UK City Year Young Leader Ayman Kassir

Working with pupils who are struggling through no fault of their own and being able to play a part in helping them achieve more has been inspirational.

City Year has encouraged me to jump at every opportunity. I have gained two recognized leadership qualifications, I am responsible for running a weekly revision club, and I have taught finance lessons. I also have access to a personal corporate mentor.

I have been able to hone my strengths and work on my weaknesses. Personal growth really is at the core of everything.

I’ve grown so much during my time with City Year and I’ve been exposed to many new situations. As a result, I’m in a much better position to embark on my final year of university and what comes after.

More about City Year

Bank of America was the first corporate partner of City Year dating back to its inception in 1988. It currently partners with public schools in 29 high-need communities across the U.S. In 2005, City Year expanded to South Africa with the support of former President Bill Clinton and late South African President Nelson Mandela, and in 2010 City Year began serving in the U.K. The organization recognizes that schools worldwide confront similar challenges to ensure students achieve academically, develop their potential and master career-building skills, enabling them to contribute to resilient and dynamic communities.


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