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Kenyon reports most City Year applicants in the U.S.

Kenyon reports most City Year applicants in the U.S.

Samantha Leder ’17 is passionate about education. A psychology and American studies major on the education track, she hopes to gain experience in education. After attending several informational sessions for the national service organization City Year last year, she was hooked.

Leder is not the only one: This year, Kenyon had the highest number of students in the country to submit a City Year application for the September deadline, the first cycle of four throughout the academic year.

City Year enlists members of AmeriCorps, the national community service organization, to work within urban schools to “bridge the gap” between at-risk students’ home and curricular lives,”according to the organization’s website.  Corps members serve for 11 months, with the option to stay on for an additional year. There are 28 branches of City Year in cities across the country, and the program has expanded to locations in Birmingham, England and Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Leder chose to apply to City Year because of its holistic approach to education. “It’s more focused on being a positive role model for the kids and building relationships with them,” Leder said in response to why she chose to apply to City Year. “As someone who’s looking into going into education after Kenyon … it just seemed like a really great thing to do after Kenyon as a gap year.”

Education is also the number one field that Kenyon students enter after graduation, according to Anneke Mason ‘10, associate director of the career development office. Mason coordinates Kenyon’s relationship with City Year.

“City Year is a great way for students to explore the field of education without jumping into a lead classroom role,” Mason said, “especially coming from a place which doesn’t have … an education major.”

Last year, City Year Midwest recruiter Rod Swain approached Leder about helping with on-campus promotional materials for the organization. Leder asked fellow senior Evie Kennedy to get involved, who she knew had a similar interest in education. Leder and Kennedy are unpaid for their work promoting City Year.

Leder and Kennedy said 16 Kenyon students submitted applications by the Sept. 30 deadline. “Basically, Sam and I are the top City Year recruiters in the nation,” Kennedy said.

Swain said enlisting students to promote the program is a new approach City Year is introducing in Ohio schools. “The addition of Sam and Evie as interns this year has been beyond valuable,” Swain said. “Their connections on campus and their drive to spread the word have really made a big difference. I definitely don’t think Kenyon would be our top school at this point without their work.”

Leder applied to City Year Boston, and Kennedy applied to City Year D.C. They will hear if they are accepted to the program this week.

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