cityyear1.jpgIt's hard to imagine anyone not getting motivated by City Year's opening day.

The ceremonies last Friday and early this week resembled a pep rally, as more than 1,700 corps members around the country officially kicked off their year of service. From their signature "PT" routine to their rousing pledge to help keep young people in school and on track to graduate, the corps brought smiles to thousands of spectators.

Every morning, the corps members bring their own smiles as they greet students upon entering school. Then the hard work begins, as they focus on students who are showing early signs of getting off-track, and who need extra support inside - and perhaps outside - the classroom.

A supporter of City Year since 2001 and national partner since 2003, Comcast was proud to sponsor opening day for the first time. This sponsorship was a new element of our recently signed three-year partnership extension with City Year. Comcast has contributed more than $75 million in cash and in-kind support to City Year, which includes training and career-development opportunities for corps members, and airing City Year's public service announcements to aid in recruiting.

We partner with City Year in 12 of our markets around the country: Philadelphia, Boston, New Hampshire, Miami, Little Rock, Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C. and Denver, which is City Year's newest team.

Comcast sponsors Philadelphia corps teams at the William Tilden Middle School and Anna H. Shaw Middle School. We had the pleasure of recently hosting these 20 corps members for breakfast at the Comcast Center, and it was terrific to catch up with them again on opening day. It's an energetic team headed by program manager Karen Specht. I'm confident in saying they made the most noise of all the sponsored teams that were introduced.

Charisse R. Lillie, our VP of Community Investment of Comcast Corporation and Executive VP of the Comcast Foundation, was among the distinguished speakers. She joined Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Deputy Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. Leroy Nunnery, President of the Philadelphia Eagles Joe Banner and City Year of Greater Philadelphia Co-Director Loree Jones.


Charisse summed up all of the speakers' sentiments when she told the corps: "You are tomorrow's leaders, the young people who are pledging a year of service as tutors, mentors and role models to help our students and schools succeed. City Year's tagline is 'give a year. change the world.' You embody that commitment through your work in schools helping students to improve their attendance, behavior and course performance."

Similar statements were being made by Comcast executives around the country. In Chicago, for example, where Comcast is sponsoring a team for the first time, LeAnn Talbot delivered opening remarks and the pledge. "I'm thrilled to spend time with our School Team," said LeAnn, who is Senior VP for the Chicago Region. "They are a very excited group of young adults and proud to have their red jackets with Comcast on them. We are making a difference!"


Comcast was pleased to help City Year kick-off what promises to be another incredible year of service to young people.