DETROIT (WWJ) – Young adult leaders who have given more than 120,000 hours tutoring and mentoring Detroit area students will be honored for their commitment on Thursday at Compuware Headquarters.
“City Year is really all about learning to serve and learning to lead. These young people have put their own education or careers on hold to give a year of their lives to help someone else succeed… they will never be the same,” Penny Bailer, Executive Director for City Year Detroit, said in a statement.
The graduation ceremony will be held at the Compuware Headquarters on Thursday 6:30 p.m. A strolling reception will take place prior to the ceremony at 5:30 p.m. The key note address will be delivered by Paula Kaiser VanDam, Executive Director of the Michigan Community Service Commission.
City Year brings together “near peers” ages 17-24 to Detroit area schools for full-time service. Corps members tutor and mentor more than 1,200 students in grades K-9 during both in-school and after-school programs that focus on improving students’ attendance, behavior and academic performance – all in an effort to keep then in school and on track to graduate.
Geno Gresham, 18, joined City Year last fall because he said, “I never had a father figure in my life. I’ve always had mentors. Growing up I always loved to volunteer.” Gresham met Bailer at a Rotary Club of Detroit scholarship event, where he was the recipient of a nine-month scholarship for his leadership and academic skills.
This year, Gresham served at Palmer Park Preparatory Academy tutoring eight graders in math and English. He remembers one student who was performing on a fifth grade level in math and didn’t know her multiplication tables. “I pulled her out of class and tutored her two hours every day,” said Gresham. “She got a B+ on her last report card.”
Gresham, who won a $5,000 First in Your Family Scholarship from Deloitte, is headed to Grand Valley University to study nursing in the fall.
Deloitte is recognizing up to seven corps members from across the country who are the first in their family to go to college, and who have demonstrated strong leadership and commitment to children in the communities they serve.
City Year Corps members volunteer for up to two years and are required to complete 1,700 hours of service per year. In return, corps members receive a weekly stipend, basic health insurance, ongoing professional development training and an educational award of $5,350 to pay for college tuition or pay off student loans.
For more information, visit www.cityyear.org.