City Year AmeriCorps members smile as they sit in a theater.
Community Impact

Partnering to Set Schools Up for Success

During swearing-in ceremonies across the country, 3,000 young people this fall are committing themselves to service as the newest City Year AmeriCorps members, dedicated to helping thousands of school children succeed.

Taking place in 29 cities nationwide and around the world, these ceremonies are part of “Opening Day” – a Comcast NBCUniversal-sponsored City Year tradition that marks the start of a new school year, and of new opportunities.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, City Year is an educational nonprofit that recruits young people to dedicate a year of service towards making a difference in the lives of underserved students in our highest-need public schools nationwide.

In our corporate hometown of Philadelphia, hundreds of Corps members were reminded of the difference they can make in the year ahead. “You are helping these kids get through hardships by lending an ear and just listening,” Charles Hardy, a Comcast Human Resources Specialist, told more than 200 Corps members during an Opening Day panel discussion.

Charles Hardy (second from the right) joined by other panelists at the City Year Opening Day in Philadelphia
Charles Hardy (second from the right) joined by other panelists at the City Year Opening Day in Philadelphia

Hardy knows firsthand how great the need is for City Year. As a child, he attended Roosevelt Elementary School in Philadelphia, where Comcast NBCUniversal is sponsoring a City Year team for a second year. Hardy remembers feeling the struggle of trying to get ahead in an environment with limited resources. He first learned about City Year as a Comcast employee when he volunteered with City Year on a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day service project at the school – and he has stay engaged since, including working with other Comcast employees to help Corps members install a library at Roosevelt during Comcast Cares Day last year.

“Resources have always been difficult to come by for the school district,” he said. “We were able to work with City Year to get [hundreds] of books and build the school’s first library. A library can be a life-changing resource, and it’s fantastic to be able to give that to all the kids who attend Roosevelt for years to come.” As a co-lead on the community service committee of Comcast’s Black Employee Network – a resource group for employees – being involved in the community is something Hardy has always believed to be an integral part of his larger purpose. Comcast NBCUniversal follows this same passion, as a dedicated partner of City Year since 2001, providing nearly $115 million in cash and in-kind support.

“It makes me feel good to know we were such a huge part in helping Roosevelt Elementary,” Hardy said. “For as long as that school is open, they will have benefited from us being there.”