Bank of America

Citizen Schools Students Take the Field!

Citizen Schools Students Take the Field!

On June 30, a group of new players took to the field at Oracle Park before the San Francisco Giants game against the Arizona Diamondbacks! Thanks to Bank of America’s support, 9 middle school students from Citizen Schools were able to run onto the field and take positions for the Kids Take the Field presentation. Students were even able to meet the players while out on the field, an experience the students said that they would never forget!

Students Take the Field at AT&T Park

Students Take the Field at AT&T Park

 In partnership with Bank of America and the San Francisco Giants, 9 students from Citizen Schools were able to go on to the field and take positions on base before the game for the Kids Take the Field event. On top of that, students were able to meet the players while out on the field, an experience the students said that they would never forget.

Bank of America, Kerry Sullivan, Recognized by Voices for National Service for Commitment to National Service

On February 14, 2017, Bank of America was awarded the Corporate Service Award by Voices for National Service at the 14th Annual Friends of National Service Awards in Washington, D.C.  The award recognizes their investment in the civic health of our nation through support of national service. We were proud to celebrate alongside Kerry Sullivan, President of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and her team - and honored to call them a partner.

Congratulations to the Presidential Volunteer Service Award Winners!

As we say here at Citizen Schools, it takes a village to serve our students. Among the leaders in that village are volunteer Citizen Teachers, who play a critical role in introducing students to engaging opportunities and diverse careers. During the 2015-2016 school year, over 2,300 Citizen Teachers taught more than 1,000 apprenticeships, impacting over 5,300 students across our network.

psa eagle

Each year, The President of the United States recognizes those who volunteer for causes across the country through the President’s Volunteer Service Awards. Hundreds of our Citizen Teachers are among the recipients.  For some, this is their very first honor. For others, it is part of a collection of Presidential Awards, representing the many semesters they have returned to teach. For all, this is a testament to their civic leadership.

This year, 398 volunteer Citizen Teachers received recognition from the President at the gold, silver, and bronze award levels. Each level corresponds to a specific level of engagement - and reflects an incredible investment in the students we serve:

  • 67 Gold award winners for teaching four of the past four semesters
  • 83 Silver award winners for teaching three of the past four semesters
  • 248 Bronze award winners for teaching two of the past four semesters

Volunteers from our National Leadership Partners (Biogen, Cisco, Cognizant, and Fidelity Investments) accounted for 45  awards, and 80 of our partner companies were represented in the overall total.

We are celebrating these volunteers around the network throughout the summer at WOW!s and at Citizen Teacher social events. This award is a meaningful way to reinforce the impact Citizen Teachers have on the community, and a way to show our appreciation for their commitment to sharing their knowledge and passion with students.

Please join us in celebrating their dedication!


Adam Richlin-Freelance Cinematographer, NY Alex Lawing-UNC,NC Allie Temkin-Common Threads,IL Amanda Kaufman-US Environmental Protection Agency,NC Amelia Molina-TX Andrea Folmer-Bank of America,NC Anne Bowie-WilmerHale, LLP,MA Arthur Everett-EMC,NC Bargavi Errabolu-Deloitte,IL Bill Good-Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization,MA Bin Wu-SanDisk,CA Brenda williams-Russell Williams Group,IL Bridget Tomes-Fidelity,IL Christopher Haid- New Valence Robotics,MA Cindy Gabriel-Deloitte, IL Cody Spencer-Chicago Public Schools,IL Dana Lindberg-Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky + Popeo PC,MA Daniel Oldman-EMC,NC David Schneier-Fidelity,NC Donna Fontana-Fidelity,NY Douglas Campbell-retired teacher, CA Ed Lau-Microsoft,NC Elena Satraitis-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL Emily Biegner-Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers,MA Emily Hodge-Choate Hall + Stewart LLP,MA Erin Buckman-Credit Suisse,NC Francis Jang-SanDisk,CA Genevieve Aguilar Reardon-Choate Hall + Stewart LLP,MA George Mykulak-WilmerHale, LLP,MA Giovanni Green-Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza,NY Hannah Hannawi-Credit Suisse,NC Hio Lam Lao-Deloitte Consulting, LLP,IL Hong Zou-EMC,NC Jacob Rea-Fidelity,NC Jacqueline Mantica-Choate Hall + Stewart LLP,MA James Reid-Credit Suisse,NC Jamie Dickerson-Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky + Popeo PC,MA Jared Cohen-WilmerHale,MA Jean-Yves Ntamwemezi-Microsoft,MA Jennifer Blood-Freelance,NY Jerry Diehl-EMC,NC Joe Darko-Microsoft,NC Joel Burke-Kittehface Software,TX Josh Glazer-Bank of America,NY Kari Shearer-Shell Oil Company,TX Katherine Kelley-Digitas,MA Kelley Coyne-Women's Audio Mission,CA Kelsey Kreamer-Nielsen,NY Kerry Laidlaw,CA Leora Rodenstein-WilmerHale,MA Lisa Berkshire-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL Liston Rice-Shell Oil Company,TX Madison Gardner-Credit Suisse,NC Marty Stanton-Cisco,NYNJ Meeghan Salcedo-Cognizant,NJNJ Michael Bevilacqua-WilmerHale,MA Philip ArmstrongBank of America, NC Robert P.Mersereau-Aldrich Astronomical Society,MA Roland Labana-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL Rosema Hermano-EMC,CA Ryan Futrell-Fidelity,NC Sanjay Kadiwala-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL Sean Anderson-Fidelity,IL Sonya Johnson-CPCC STARS Alliance,NC StevenCooper-SanDisk,CA Steven Garza-Boy Scout of America,TX Susan Freeman-Northeastern University,MA


Adaeze Ezeh-Synaptics Inc.,CA

Adam Harbour-SanDisk,CA

Aditya Jeet-Google, NY

Ahmed Elsayed-Hikvision Usa, Inc. IL

Albert Cheng-ADEA NYU Chapter,NY

Alena Golovchenkol-Ernst & Young LLP,NY

Alexandra Ross-EPA,NC

Alexandra RiewerMotorola Mobility,IL

Alfred Reed-Bank of America, NC

Alice Saiki-Cisco,CA

Alice McCormack-ExpressJet Airlines,TX

Alison Dally-Bank of America,NYNJ

Amanda Marvelle-Biogen,NC

Amanda McKibbin-Biogen,NC

Amber Haskell-MFS Investment Management,MA

Ana Linton-Intralinks,NYNJ

Anant Shukla-Google,NYNJ

Andrew Puckett-Fidelity,NC

Angela Tessin-Cisco,CA

Anil Koluguri-EMC Corporation,NC

Ann Guilinger-athena health,MA

Anne Coulombe-Intralinks,MA

Annie Martin-Athena Health,MA

Anthony Furino-Newberry Campa Architects,TX

Anya Estrov-Google,NY

Arbora Malushi-Northern Trust Bank,BOSMA

Arturo Perez-EF Education,MA


Ashley McFarland-Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated,NC

Barbara Serven-Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services,MA

Bashir Afzaliself-employedCA

Bernardine Bernard-BNY Mellon,MA

Beth Bond-ForGoods,IL

Bill Joyce-Fidelity,MA

Brad Seiler-Square,NY

Bradley Mertes-American Eagle Airlines,IL

Brandon Duncan-Keller Williams Preferred Realty,NC

Brent Ramsey-Massachusetts Department of Transportation,MA

Brian Dailey Eaton-Vance Management Inc,MA

Brian Peltonen-Fidelity Investments,MA

Britton Picciolini-Google,IL

Brooke Callahan-American Express,NYNJ

Brian Towey-Cognizant,NC

Caio Mattos-CapitalOne,NY

Caitlin Cook-ExpressJet Airlines,IL

Carla KupeArion-National Organization of Black Law Enforcement - Chicago Metropolitan Chapter,IL

Carol Rosenberg-Google,NYNJ

Catherine Lee-NYU College of Dentistry,NYNJ

Cayla Yang-EMC,MA

Celeste Brown-Schweitzer Fellowship,NC

Charles Knipper-Deloitte Tax LLP,IL

Chavi PayalSharma-YW Boston,MA

Chi Le-Wayfair LLC,MA

Chivas Nambiar-Verizon Corporation,MA

Chris Otto-Otto Family Foundation,IL

Christine Okike-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP,NYNJ

Christopher McIndoe-Stoneturn Group, LLP-MA

Chuck Shaw-Google,NYNJ

Cindy Song-Ernst & Young,NYNJ

Claire Keady-Bank of America,MA

Clarke Egerton-Fidelity,NC

Clementina Nunez-City of Houston,TX

Dan Burton-Google,CA

Danielle Hurlburt-Ernst + Young,NYNJ

Darrell Ford-DRF Industries, LLC,TX

David Dillon-VMware,MA

David Landry-Verizon Corporation,MA

David Saff-Google,MA

Dawn Webb-Bank of America,NC


Dennis Arrowsmith-Houston Grand Opera,TX

Derek Lin-NYU School of Medicine,NY

Devika Dhawan-American Express,NY

Diana BatistaLa-Economica Meat Market,MA

Dmitriy Zemel-Pratt Institute,NY

Donna Steadman-Hines Inc.,TX

Dwayne Jones-Fox Sports Network,NC

Edina Lemo-Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.,NY

Eli Wylen-Google,MA

Elizabeth Fargo=Intralinks,NY

Elle Song-Microsoft,NC

Eric Biegeleisen-Broadmeadow Capital,MA

Farah Ali-Citizen Schools Club,NY

Fernanda Sanovicz-School of Visual Arts, NYNJ

Forrest Pieper-New Valence Robotics,MA

Frankee Bullock-Fidelity,NC

Gabrielle Bailey-Wayfair LLC,MA

Gilbert Chaidez-Unity Care,CA

Gina Coletti-Northern Trust,MA

Giriraj Vaithulu Gopal-Cognizant,NYNJ

Godffrey David brown-Oakland School Police,CA

Grant Brown-UBS Financial Services - NYIL

Griffin Mueller-Cisco,NC

Harry Bullen-Google,NYNJ

HilarySmith-Citizen Schools,CA

Hirashini Shanmugaraj-Google,CA

Jack Fleming-Athena Health,MA

Jake Jagust-Deloitte Tax LLP,IL

Jake Sherin-Motorola Mobility,IL

James Woody-Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated,NC

James Shipley-National Amateur Sports,NC

Jane Parris-Phillips Exeter Academy,MA

Janelle Arthur-H.E.R. Heart Foundation INC,NY

Javar Christian-Bank of America,NC

Jeanne Harran-Intralinks,MA

Jeffrey Easton-Fidelity,NYNJ

Jennifer DiCola-Fidelity,IL

Jeremy Eisemann-Liberty Mutual Group,MA

Jesse Parker-The Nieslen Company,NY

Jessica Lyssy Perry Homes,TX

Ji YunHan-NYU College of Dentistry,NY

Jin SupShin-NYU College of Dentistry,NY

John Studley Jr-EXOS/Google,MA

John Bliss-SCI Consulting Group,CA

John Spreer-Lending Club,CA

John Gagne-United Continental Holdings, Inc.,IL

John Lisy-UBS Financial Services,IL

Jonathan Tang-Aztec Technologies,MA

Jonathan Calhoun-Bank of America,NC

Jonathan Kwan-Raytheon Company,MA

Josefa Palma-Legal & General,IL

Joseph Dunn-Fidelity,NC

Jovan Oliver-New Jersey Institute of Technology,NJ


Julie Palomba-Amplify,NJ

Justyna Malz,MA

Kadia Tubman-Nielsen,NY

Karen L.Pickerill-PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP,NY

Kavita Ramachandran,NJ

Kaydene Bennett-Pricewaterhouse Coopers,NY

Kelly Petrich-Cisco,CA

Kemena Brooks-Laurel Street Residential,NC

Kenneth Wade-Corvisa,IL

Kenon Fachon-Wayfair LLC,MA

Kevin Cullen-Fidelity,MA

Keyna Chow-Ropes & Gray,CA

Khalil Um'rani-North Side Credit Unions,IL

Kimberly Amick-Biogen,NC

Kiza Forgie-AIA - Houston Chapter,TX

Koren Underdue,NC

Kristen Thomas-Wayfair LLC,MA

Kristen Carroll-Citizen's Schools (Baylor College of Medicine,)TX

Laila Ameri-WilmerHale,MA

Lauren Johnson-Common Threads,IL

Lea Kilraine-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Lisa Xia-Nielsen,NY

Lori Egan-Bank of America,MA

Louise Bhavnani-City of Charlotte,NC

Lucero Luna Miranda-Girls Who Code,NY

Lucy Vasserman-Google,NY

Lyndon Tran-Citizen Schools Club NYUCD,NY

Lynne Crawford-Cisco,CA

Madelyn Herzog-FoodCorps,MA

Manali Mehta-Shell Oil Company,TX

Mari Badger-Self Employed,MA

Mario Calzetta-ExpressJet Airlines,TX

Mary Ann Fiscus-Motorola Mobility,IL

Mary T.Howard-Soaring Birds,MA

Mat WolffA-IA - Houston Chapter,TX

Max Simchowitz-Capital One,NY

Megan Wagner-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL

Megan Petrik-Bank of America,NC

MeredithMcWeeney-Citizen Schools,CA

Mical Nobel-Athena Health,MA

Michael Merritt-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL

Michael Riley-Goulston & Storrs,MA

Miguel Betancourt-Rice University,TX

Morgan Matthews-Ernst & Young, NY

Najla Long-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP,NY

Nathaly Lozano-Verizon Corporation,MA

Nathania Reid-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP,NY

Nedum Aniemeka-Project Exploration,IL

Niccole Marcial-Colgate-Palmolive,NJ

Nicole Mahoney-Lending Club,CA

NicoleBrown-LS3P Associates LTD,NC

Nikhil Nathwani-Microsoft,MA

Omoyeni Makindeomo-Yeni LLC,NY

Onalie Sotak-Google,MA

Oscar Teunissen-PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP,NY

Paris Cherry-YWCA,MA

Patrice Tanti-ThermoFisher Scientific,CA

Patrick Kennedy-Salem Access Television,MA

Patrick Gries-Motorola Mobility,IL

Paul Truong-SanDisk,CA

Pauline Vogl-Cisco,CA

Pell Osborn-Motion Art,MA

Peni Garber-ABRY Partners,MA

Praagyan Pokharel-VMware,MA

Prasanna Pilla-VMware,MA

Rachel Pollinger-Cambridge Associates,MA

Rachel Shack,WilmerHale-MA

Rachel Madsen-Legal & General Investment Management America,IL

Rajitha Chaparala-Intralinks, MA

Raquelle Kaye-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP,NY

Rebecca Moles-Eaton Vance Management Inc.,MA

Rebecca Tang-Google,NY

Rebecca Carrizosa-Ropes & Gray,CA

Ricardo Martinez-Martinez Architects,TX

Richard Achee-Google,NYNJ

Richard Wolny-Motorola Mobility,IL

Richelle Mechenbier-Xylem Inc.,NC

Robert Mersereau Jr.-No 9 Park Restaurant,MA

Robert Taylor-Liberty Mutual,MA

Robert Ford-DRF Industries, LLC,TX

Robert Johnson-Tabernacle of Prayer For All People Inc.,NY

Rodrigo Chandia-Google Inc.,MA

Roger Pease-Enbase Solutions LLC,TX

Rosaland Hopkins-Fidelity, NC

Ruxandra Calin-EY,NY

Saba Jangda-Citizens School Club, NYUCD NY

Sabiya Bacchus-Munroe-Fidelity,NY

Sabrina Pham-Citizen Schools Club NYUCD,NY

Sam Polyak-Fidelity Investments,MA

Sameer Ahmed=WilmerHale,MA

Sara Li-Fidelity,MA

Sara Loudon-Ernst & Young LLP,NY

Sarah Michael-Baylor Pediatric Student Association,TX

Scarlet Vaickus-Motorola Mobility,IL

Seth Conyers-Northern Trust,IL

Shailesh Kumar-United Continental Holdings, Inc.,IL

Sheri Brazley-Common Threads,IL

Shirley Wells-Ernst & Young LLP,NY

Shoun Hill-The Associated Press,NY

Shruti Nagarajan-Cambridge Associates,RI

Simon Pilecki-King's Chapel,MA

Simon Kingaby-Piedmont Natural Gas,NC

Stephanie Moreno=Baylor College of Medicine,TX

Stephen Cross=Fidelity,MA

Stephen Friedenthal-Cisco,MA

Steven De Nicola-Nielsen,NY

Sudharsan Chandraprakash-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL

Susan Gronbeck-US Trust,NY

Tracy Callahan-Biogen,MA

Tracy Horridge-Thermo Fisher Scientific,MA

Tristan Foley-Goulston & Storrs,MA

Tyrone Hall-Durham County Department of Public Health,NC

Valerie Young-athenahealth,MA

Victoria Gemme-New England Baptist Hospital,MA

Vincent Armentano-Northeastern University,CT

Vincent Passafiume-United Continental Holdings, Inc.,IL


Ya QingChen-NYUCD,NY


Yolanda Brewer-National Organization of Black Law Enforcement - Chicago Metropolitan Chapter,IL

Zach Fields-Mintz Levin,MA

Zach Cloyd-Ropes + Gray,MA

Zachary Zuniga-Scribe America,CA


Alexandra Reynolds-WilmerHale,MA Allison Levin-Fidelity,IL Anne-Marie Stevenson-Latta Plantation Nature Center,NC Ashok Moghe-Cisco,CA Benjamin Lucas-Yeshiva University,NY Bijal Shah-Credit Suisse, NC Bob France-SanDisk, CA Bradley Wynn-Legal & General Investment Management America,IL Brandi Williams-Polished Pebbles,IL Brendan Nolan-Piedmont Natural Gas,NC Brian Smith-Dominion Solution Corporation,TX Carol Lenox-US Environmental Protection Agency,NC Carrie Isaacman-Independent,NYNJ Christine O'Donnell-Bank of America,NYNJ Christine Style-Communications with Style,CA Claire Weber,CA Coleman Poag-EMC,NC Corey Cronin-City National Bank,CA Cory Spinney-Digitas,MA Daniel Burns-Deloitte,IL Dimitri Alves-Lockheed Martin,NJNJ Doug Leonard-Coca-Cola Bottling Co.,NC Douglas Reagan-Cisco,NJNJ Emily Thomas-Rice University,TX Eric Teasdale-Choate Hall + Stewart LLP,MA Eric Friedman-eSkill Corporation,NY Eric Frackleton-Microsoft,MA Ethan Apter-Google,MA FadiAfa Al-Refaee-SanDisk,CA Harriet Hoder-Wilmerhale,MA Itzik Gilboa-SanDisk,CA James Hershberger-Houston Grand Opera,TX Jason Lee-Intel Corporation,CA Jeffrey Whitley-Shell Oil,TX Jody Weber-Bank of America Corporation,MA John Ryan-Fidelity,MA Jorge Nava Piedmont-Natural Gas,NC Julia Wrobel-Columbia University,NYNJ Julia Conner-Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department,NC Kaela O'Donnell Belk, Inc,NC Kate Mohorn-SAS Institute,NC Kelly Flook-Thermo Fisher Scientific,CA Kenneth Barron-Fidelity,NC Kesha Diamond-Apthorp Pharmacy,NYNJ Kim Kiesow-EMC,NC Lauren Riley,MA Leah Segal-WilmerHale,MA Luke Fernandes-Legal and General Investment Management,IL Marcos Guerrero-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL MARK FULLMAN-DELOITTE TAX LLP,IL Meghan Bourke-Legal & General Investment Management America,IL Mica Warton-YWCA,MA Michael Walker-Alexander/Ryan Marine & Safety,TX Michael Silver,IL Monica Hauser-Motorola Mobility Foundation,IL MorganMoss-New Valence Robotics,MA Moriska Selby-The Correctional Association of New York,NYNJ Niamh Fitzgerald,IL Nisha Saboo-Deloitte Tax LLP,IL Nykeya Woods-True Star Foundation,IL Paschell Sutton-Jersey City Board of Education,NY Penny Temple,NY Qian Cheng-ADEA NYU Chapter,NY Rachel McIntosh-Kastrinsky-ASPPH/EPA,NC Rachel Stout-Houston Public Library,TX Rebecca Holub-Google,NY Reginald Liger-Cisco,NC Roy Fralin-Fidelity Investments,NC Seth Moskowitz-WilmerHale,MA Shira Schindel-Litographs,NY Shruti Gopinathan-Johnson Controls,CA Shuran Liang-Citizen Schools Club NYUCD,NY Siva Krishna Titti-Cognizant,NYNJ Susie Forbath-Athena Health,MA Swati Gokhale-Cognizant,CA Tej Gokhale,CA Tiffany Feng-Digitas,MA Travis Smith-Shell Oil Company,TX Vanessa Gaskin-Ernst & Young LLP,NY Victor Chow-NYUCD,NY WaiMay Chee-PwCNY,NY William-Merritt-Bank of America,NC Yana Malysheva-Google,MA Yasmilka Clase,NY

Congratulations to the Presidential Volunteer Service Award Winners!

As we say here at Citizen Schools, it takes a village to serve our students. Among the leaders in that village are volunteer Citizen Teachers, who play a critical role in introducing students to engaging opportunities and diverse careers. During the 2014-2015 school year, over 2,300 Citizen Teachers taught more than 1,000 apprenticeships, impacting over 5,300 students across our network.

psa eagle

Each year, The President of the United States recognizes those who volunteer for causes across the country through the President’s Volunteer Service Awards. Hundreds of our Citizen Teachers are among the recipients.  For some, this is their very first honor. For others, it is part of a collection of Presidential Awards, representing the many semesters they have returned to teach. For all, this is a testament to their civic leadership.

This year, 422 volunteer Citizen Teachers received recognition from the President at the gold, silver, and bronze award levels. Each level corresponds to a specific level of engagement - and reflects an incredible investment in the students we serve:

  • 61 Gold award winners for teaching four of the past four semesters
  • 70 Silver award winners for teaching three of the past four semesters
  • 291 Bronze award winners for teaching two of the past four semesters

Volunteers from our National Leadership Partners (Biogen, Cisco, Cognizant, Fidelity Investments, and Google) accounted for 66 awards, and 80 of our partner companies were represented in the overall total.

We are celebrating these volunteers around the network throughout the summer at WOW!s and at Citizen Teacher social events. This award is a meaningful way to reinforce the impact Citizen Teachers have on the community, and a way to show our appreciation for their commitment to sharing their knowledge and passion with students.

Please join us in celebrating their dedication!


Ailey Crow, CA - Pivotal Software, Inc.Albert Ching, CA - Google Alfonso Perez, MA - New Valence Robotics Amelia Molina, TX Andrea Folmer, NC - Bank of America Anne Bowie, MA - WilmerHale, LLP Arthur Everett, NC - EMC Arun Joseph, NC - EMC Becki Holub, NY - Google Bill Good, MA - Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization Bin Wu, CA - SanDisk Brian Smith, TX - Dominion Solution Corporation Carol Lenox, NC - US Environmental Protection Agency Christopher Haid, MA - New Valence Robotics Coleman Poag, NC - EMC Daniel Oldman, NC - EMC Donna Fontana, NY - Fidelity Investments Douglas Campbell, CA Douglas Reagan, NJ - Cisco Ed Lau, NC - Microsoft Emily Hodge, MA - Choate Hall + Stewart LLP Emily Thomas, TX - Rice University Eric Frackleton, MA - Microsoft Eric Teasdale, MA - Choate Hall + Stewart LLP Erin Buckman, NC - Credit Suisse Gayle Moberg, NY – GDM Market Solutions Harry Bullen, NY - Google Hong Zou, NC - EMC Jacqueline Mantica, MA - Choate Hall + Stewart LLP James Reid, NC - Credit Suisse Jerry Diehl, NC - EMC Jesse Nocon, MA - Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization Joe Darko, NC - Microsoft Joseph Eveillard, MA - Cambridge Adventure Day Camp Josh Glazer, NY – Bank of America Katherine Kelley, MA - Digitas Kelley Coyne, CA - Women's Audio Mission Kelly Flook, CA - Thermo Fisher Scientific Kerry Laidlaw, CA Kimone Gooden, CA - Cisco Kirstin Frazell, NY - Facebook Leanne Measroch, NC - Microsoft Linda Lazor, CA MacCalvin Romain, MA - Digitas Martin Stanton, NJ - Cisco Melanie Closs, NY – The Other Side Michael Bevilacqua, MA - WilmerHale, LLP Neil Jacobs, MA - WilmerHale, LLP Philip Armstrong, NC - Bank of America Prateek Sachdeva, CA - Oracle Rachel Stout, TX - Houston Public Library Rachele Louis, CA - Gensler Rebecca Dodder, NC - US Environmental Protection Agency Robert P. Mersereau, MA - Aldrich Estronomical Society Rosema Hermano, CA - EMC Ruth Gitlin, NY – Angelo, Gordon & Co. Shivani Mehta, NJ - Johnson & Johnson Sonya Johnson, NC - CPCC STARS Alliance Susan Dickey, CA - Google Victoria Ho, CA - Google William MacKrell, NC - SAS Institute


Adam Richlin, NY

Aisha Davis, NC - Microsoft

Alex Lawing, NC - UNCC

Amanda Kaufman, NC - US Environmental Protection Agency

Ana Lopez, MA - Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky + Popeo PC

Andree Fryar, NC - Wells Fargo / Wachovia

Angela Berry, NC - City of Charlotte

Anne-Marie Stevenson, NC - Latta Plantation Nature Center

Aric Sangruchi, CA - Space Systems/Loral

Audrey Hoiles, MA - Cambridge Associates

Aya Rothkopf, CA - Space Systems/Loral

Bara Reyna, TX - NASA

Benjamin Eld, MA - Digitas

Bill Stitson, MA - Trip Advisor, LLC

Brian Conley, MA - Microsoft

Brianna Muhlenkamp, TX - Shell Oil Company

Chris Casanova, NC - Microsoft Corporation

Cindy Gabriel, IL - Deloitte

Cody Spencer, IL - Chicago Public Schools

Daniel Davison, NY - Bank of America

David Konczal, IL - Motorola Mobility Foundation

David Rahmani, TX - Shell Oil Company

Erika Schroeder, NY - Pratt Institute

Ethan Apter, MA - Google

Faris Werr, NC - Wells Fargo / Wachovia

Genevieve Aguilar Reardon, MA - Choate Hall + Stewart LLP

Gifty Mansaray, MA - Edwards Middle School

Giovanni Green, NY

Hall Cherville, NY - AB

Jared Cohen, MA - WilmerHale, LLP

Jean-Yves Ntamwemezi, MA - Microsoft

Jennifer Blood, NY

Jocasta Conyers-Johnson, TX - The Women's Fund for Health Education and Research

Jody Weber, MA - Bank of America

Justin Forman, NY - Google

Karen Nee, MA - Bank of America

Kesha Diamond, NY - Apthorp Pharmacy

Kiara Byrd, IL - Project Exploration

Kim Kiesow, NC - EMC

Kweku Ulzen, NC - Microsoft

La Rue Ragan, CA - Raven Works Field Sports Ministry

Lauren Kupersmith, MA - Goodwin Procter LLP

Leora Rodenstein, MA - WilmerHale, LLP

Lisa Berkshire, IL - Motorola Mobility Foundation

Mark Melfi, NC - Fidelity Investments

Martin Lopez Diaz, Jr., CA - LifeLong Medical Care

Megan Petrik, NC - Bank of America

Micaela Warton, MA - YWCA Boston

Michelle Hocking, CA - Google

Molly Berman, NY - Planned Parenthood

Nanelle Napp, NC - Bank of America

Olubukola Ashaolu, NY - National Employment Law Project

Onalie Sotak, MA - Google

Rachel Klooz, NY - Google

Richard Carey, MA - Thermo Fisher Scientific

Robert Mersereau Jr., MA - No 9 Park Restaurant

Robert Shames, MA - Choate Hall + Stewart LLP

Roland Labana, IL - Motorola Mobility Foundation

Roy Fralin, NC - Fidelity Investments

Ryan Futrell, NC - Fidelity Investments

Samantha Powers, MA - Microsoft

Sanjay Kadiwala, IL - Motorola Mobility Foundation

Scott McConnell, MA - Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Sowji Karumuri, NC - EMC

Susan Freeman, MA - Northeastern University

Tanisha Myers, NC - Wells Fargo / Wachovia

Tayeb Karim, MA - Google

Valerie Peicher, TX - Baylor College of Medicine

William Davis, NC - Credit Suisse

William Merritt, NC - Bank of America

Congratulations to the 2014 Presidential Volunteer Service Award Winners!

The President of Citizen Schools, Emily McCann, uses the phrase "it takes a village" to demonstrate the amount of talent and dedication needed to create the impact that Citizen Schools has on students. Among the ‘village’ of talent and dedication are our volunteer Citizen Teachers. During the 2013-2014 school year there were over 2,500 Citizen Teachers leading about 1,000 apprenticeships, impacting over 4,900 middle school students across 7 states!   From September to May these volunteers give their time to middle school students, mentoring them on topics such as video game design, mock trial, stock market investments and more. After one semester in the classroom, hundreds of volunteers go on to teach again, for several semesters and even years in a row.

While we celebrate the end of the school year and thank our Citizen Teachers, there is one more individual that extends his gratitude for their service, the President of the United States. Each year, the President recognizes those who volunteer for a cause across the country with the President's Volunteer Service Award program.

This year, 375 Citizen Teachers were recognized by the President at the gold, silver and bronze levels. Each of the levels corresponds to an incredible amount of time inspiring students:

43 Gold award winners for teaching four out of the last four semesters

71 Silver award winners for teaching three out of the last four semesters

261 Bronze award winners for teaching two out of the last four semesters

Throughout the summer, volunteers received their awards at appreciation events across the country. Many companies and organizations have also recognized the great efforts of their employees at the appreciation events and internally.

Join us in celebrating these mentors for helping students to dream big and reach their full potential. In particular, we would like to thank the 43 gold level awardees who have made the commitment for four consecutive semesters to consistently impact students in their community. Congratulations on your accomplishments and impact on student’s lives! We thank you all for your service.


Emily Hodge, Choate Hall + Stewart LLP

Jacqueline Mantica, Choate Hall + Stewart LLP

Eric Teasdale, Choate Hall + Stewart LLP

Scott McConnell, Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Timothy Bazzle, Goodwin Procter, LLP

Onalie Sotak, Google

Bill Good, Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization

Jesse Nocon, Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization

Brian Conley, Microsoft

Kyle Crawford, Mintz Levin Cohon Ferris Glovsky + Popeo PC

Anne Bowie, WilmerHale, LLP

Robert Mersereau Jr.

Robert P. Mersereau Sr.

New York

Donna Fontana, Fidelity Investments

Richard Mooney, CAW Afterschool Artworks

Ruth Gitlin, Angelo, Gordon and Co.

New Jersey

Damani Roach, Prudential Investments

Douglas Reagan, Cisco

Douglas Lebrecque, Rutgers SPAA

James Hainis, H.E.A.R.T. Martial Arts

Shivani Mehta, Cognizant

North Carolina

Arthur (Charlie) Everett, EMC

Carol Lenox, Environmental Protection Agency

Edward Lau, Microsoft

Elvira Johnson, CPCC STARS Alliance

Hong Zou, EMC

Jerry Diehl, EMC

Joe Darko, Microsoft

Kathy Cummings, Bank of America

Kim Kiesow, EMC

Megan Petrik, Bank of America

Nanelle Napp, Bank of America

Philip Armstrong, Bank of America

Rebecca Dodder, Environmental Protection Agency

Sasha Bouldin, NC Albert Schweitzer Fellows Program

Sonya “Rudy” Johnson, CPCC STARS Alliance

Taylor Clawson, NC Albert Schweitzer Fellows Program


Cindy Gabriel, Deloitte


Glenn Lowenstein, Terrain Solutions, Inc.

Mark Jernigan, NASA


Kimone Gooden, Cisco

Kelley Coyne, Women’s Audio Mission

Susan Dickey, Google

Showing Students How to Dream Big

A 12-year-old might dream of becoming an astronaut, the president, a firefighter, an athlete. But does she know what it takes to achieve that dream? Does she know what classes are important or what colleges she can go to? Does she know what other careers are out there that might also interest her? Students on a field trip at Bank of America

Thanks to a group of volunteers from Bank of America, middle school students in the Citizen Schools program at Martin Luther King Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina are discovering their own dreams, and learning how to achieve them. This career exposure and journey of self-discovery happens in an afternoon “apprenticeship” class as part of the Citizen Schools expanded learning day program.

Andrew Blaser, an AVP at Bank of America, was part of leading the Brand You apprenticeship class. Once a week, students learned how to apply the principles of branding to their own lives by discovering what makes them unique and exploring future careers that reflect their unique interests and personalities. Throughout the ten week course, the students worked on creating a personal brand message based on their interests, college and career goals, and then had the chance to present their personal goals to executives at Bank of America.

We asked Andrew to reflect on his experience in the classroom. Here’s what he had to say...

One of the greatest parts of the curriculum we chose to teach, Brand You, was that it allowed us to explore potential career paths with our students. This was an exciting opportunity because many of them had never considered the possibilities before this class. Once the class had discovered their unique characteristics, such as strengths, weaknesses, passions, etc., they were asked to put together a list of future careers they would love to have.

Students presenting their brands to executives at Bank of America

We generated a worksheet to help with this exercise, listing potential careers from auto mechanic to surgeon to teacher to financial planner, 42 options in all.  The students loved this because it presented them with so many options that would never have occurred to them otherwise, and, of course, since this list was not exhaustive it helped spark some great creativity in the class to come up with even more great ideas. By the end of our time together, we had students who wanted to be veterinarians, soccer stars, programmers, law enforcement, and everything in between!

Many students were able to choose their possible future careers because we helped them connect the dots through the exercises in class. This is the greatest part as a Citizen Teacher because it shows that we made an impact and helped someone dream big. In particular, I can think of one student who really struggled with deciding on careers and we were able to help her find something she was extremely passionate about.

When asked to create a list of potential career paths, this student was stumped. We went back into her folder and pulled exercises we had completed in class. This included a personal SWOT analysis, brand descriptors, and other personal evaluation tools. Using these, we determined that she had a real passion for music and science. As a hobby, she loved listening to music. It was one of her favorite activities. After some discussion, we thought about how she could share that talent with the world as a DJ.

She loved the idea, but we pushed her a little further. Of course, it is possible to make a career being a DJ, but we wanted to go another step, so we urged her to think about how she could combine music with her love of science.

This opened up the world of being a researcher, where she could pursue an advanced degree in science relating to the study of music. Or she could be a physicist, thinking about how sound waves interact with the world. The list went on, but the takeaway was that by thinking about a career revolving around what she loved, and not as a just a job down the road, we created a list of exciting possibilities that will hopefully inspire her to continue her education and enter a rewarding field down the road.

You can help a students discover their dreams by signing up to teach an apprenticeship. 

The Huffington Post: Citizen Power, Multiplied

The Huffington Post September 13, 2013

Citizen Power, Multiplied

As part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute, Eric Schwarz, Co-Founder and CEO of Citizen Schools, authored an opinion piece to recognizing the power of national service to mobilize thousands of volunteers. The series is in conjunction with the National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11th and the 20th anniversary of the signing of the AmeriCorps legislation on September 20th.

"'I want to be a professional football player in the NFL," Abdullah said, on the first day of a professional networking class he signed up for at his middle school.

Jessica Fick, a former member of AmeriCorps, was facilitating the class with Charlie Bini, an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow who was serving at the Louise A. Spencer School in Newark, NJ. Their goal was to help each student discover a dream and begin mapping a path to achieving it." Read the rest of the Citizen Power, Multiplied.

So Much More Than a Fundraiser

Spring is finally here and we are gearing up for our gala events across the country. This year we are more excited than ever to celebrate success, share results and get ready to take on next year's challenges. The upcoming events in Boston, New York, Charlotte and Mountain View and are so much more than your typical fundraisers. We chatted with our busy event planners about what makes these three galas so special... 1. A WOW! Affair, Boston, Massachusetts

awa1In the spring of 1999 the first A WOW! Affair gala was held in a board member's backyard. It has now grown to an event of nearly 500 attendees. In addition to an important fundraiser, the gala is also a celebration of our schools, teachers, volunteers and most importantly our students.

This year we are particularly thrilled to be honoring long time national leadership partner, Fidelity Investments, for their commitment to supporting the Citizen Schools mission. The event will feature a short speaking program, as well as a gallery of student work from apprenticeship classes across the state . We're excited to re-introduce our silent auction which is back by popular demand. Stay tuned for a list of great items you won't want to miss!

Event Details:

April 3, 2013 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The Boston Marriott Copley Place

Register Here

2. Calling All Citizens, New York, New York

20120502-CitizenSchoolsGala-145Citizen Schools New York is engaging the city in style this year at the fourth annual Calling All Citizens benefit. This year, the event will be hosted at the classic New York landmark, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. The evening will be a celebration of growth-- growth of the program, growth of school and corporate partnerships and most importantly growth of the students.

Guests will enjoy a beautiful cocktail reception followed by a brief speaking program where they'll hear from a surprise honoree and a former student who will share how Citizen Schools has impacted her life. The evening will be focused on celebrating the students-- featuring a gallery of student work and a chance for students to teach guests what they learned in their apprenticeship classes. Don't miss the opportunity to launch rockets, experience socially conscious advertising and learn which stocks will earn you the big bucks--all presented by incredible students.

Event Details:

When: May 20, 2013 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Where: Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center

Register Here

image3. Citizen Schools Breakfast: Celebrating Community CollaborationCharlotte, North Carolina

This spring the Celebrating Community Collaboration breakfast is the first event of its kind for Citizen Schools North Carolina. Hosted at the iconic Mint Museum Uptown, this event is a chance to celebrate Charlotte’s culture of community impact, bringing together leaders such as Katie Belk Morris of The Belk Foundation, Charles Bowman of Bank of America and Principal Jennifer Dean from Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, who will all be honored at the event.

This event is particularly timely with the release of a longitudinal study showing the positive impact of the Citizen Schools program on the first cohort of participants who graduated from middle school in 2008. We are thrilled to announce that one of these bright young adults will be joining us to speak at the event. You won't want to miss hearing her story.

Event Details:

When: May 15, 2013 8:00- 9:30 a.m.

Where: Mint Museum Uptown

Event Website

4. BenefitED, Mountain View, California

CA_Benefit (1)Citizen Schools California is delighted to celebrate our first ever benefit on May 7th, 2013 at the Computer History Museum.

We are planning an evening of celebration for everyone who has committed so much to our schools- our corporate partners, our Teaching Fellows, our volunteer Citizen Teachers, our students and many others.  Guests will enjoy a host of pairings- from food and wine to STEM and student projects, to partners and students. We hope you will join us for our inaugural event!

Event Details:

When: Tuesday, May 7, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Where: Computer History Museum

Register here

Even if you can't attend one of these events, you can support the Citizen Schools mission to close the achievement and opportunity gaps for low-income children with a donation today.

Bank of America Volunteers: In Their Own Words

Citizen Schools’ first apprenticeship, in journalism, was led by two young men with a dream to change education. But those young men, our co-founders Eric Schwarz and Ned Rimer, needed more than a dream to make their vision a reality; they also needed people and companies willing to invest money, time and thought partnership in their idea to bring citizens into classrooms as a “second shift” of educators. And Bank of America was right there, ready to invest their resources – and faith – in us. Brand You Apprenitce

Since those early days, the partnership between Bank of America and Citizen Schools has grown and evolved. More than 100 Bank employees have taught apprenticeships to middle school students across the country, on topics from investing to saving for college to branding. One brave Bank of America volunteer even taught Celtic dancing!

Just this past fall in Charlotte, North Carolina (where Bank of America was a founding partner) 17 Bank employees led an impressive four apprenticeships at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. We wanted to know what makes Bank of America employees some of our most dedicated volunteers, so we asked them what the Citizen Teacher experience meant to them. Here’s what they had to say:

“Our students were the stars of the show and made our Citizen Schools experience more fulfilling than we could have ever imagined.  They were simultaneously engaged and engaging, unafraid to ask questions and respectfully contribute their experiences at every turn.  It became quickly apparent that we were being held to a high standard which made us want to give 110%.  You know you’re having a fun and positive experience when you’re looking forward to the next class even before your current one has ended.”

- Jason Last, AVP Business Designer, College Prep Apprenticeship

The Brand You Apprenticeship

“It showed me the real impact that both students and professionals get from the apprenticeship experience. From a professional standpoint, teaching together helped us build a very strong team. We all leveraged each other to make sure that each lesson was as effective as it could be, and had great brainstorming sessions. And for the students, having such a diverse group of teachers made the lessons very accessible. We saw how much they appreciated our time and commitment. That was very powerful.”

- Nanelle Napp, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Brand You Apprenticeship

“We did a lesson about working through our strengths and weaknesses. At the end of the day when we asked the students what they had learned, one girl raised her hand and said, ‘I learned that if I put my mind to it, I can do anything.’ It was incredible that she got that take-away and that she believed that. For me that was the number one example of seeing these kids transform and become more like adults. We all had goose bumps.”

- Andrew Blaser, AVP of Business Controls and Monitoring, Brand You Apprenticeship

We've seen the impact that Citizen Schools – with the support of partners like Bank of America - has on children, the community and the country. Without our early and consistent partners, Citizen Schools might still be just a budding idea. Thanks to all of the companies and volunteers who make this work – and our students’ transformation – possible!

The Real Impact of Volunteering: The Bank of America Story

After teaching a ten-week apprenticeship class, our volunteers often say, “The students taught me more than I taught them.” We love that our volunteer Citizen Teachers feel so fulfilled after working with the students, but we wondered, what does that really mean? So we decided to ask two Citizen Teachers from Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina. Nanelle Napp is Senior Vice President of Marketing and a member of Citizen Schools’ NC Advisory Board and Andrew Blaser is AVP of Business Controls and Monitoring. Here’s what they had to say:

Citizen Schools: How did you hear about Citizen Schools?

Andrew: I heard about it from someone who is in the leadership development program for recently graduated MBAs with me. I was new to Charlotte and looking for volunteer opportunities.

CS: Nanelle, as a Citizen Schools North Carolina Advisory Board member, what was it like actually teaching for the first time?

The Brand You Apprenticeship

Nanelle: It showed me the real impact that both students and professionals get from the apprenticeship experience. From a professional standpoint, teaching together helped us build a very strong team. We all leveraged each other to make sure that each lesson was as effective as it could be, and had great brainstorming sessions. And for the students, having such a diverse group of teachers made the lessons very accessible. We saw how much they appreciated our time and commitment. That was very powerful.

CS: How did teaching an apprenticeship impact the relationships you had with the members of your team?

Nanelle: It fosters friendships for one thing. I feel closer to the people in marketing than I did before and I’ve made new friends at the same time. It gives you an appreciation for your teammates that you wouldn’t get otherwise because you’re working on something together that is totally different than your jobs.

Andrew: Nanelle actually convinced me to join her team. One of the best parts of working with Citizen Schools was that I didn’t know any of the five people on my team at first and now I’m really close to them. I got to meet some people in the marketing department that I wouldn't get to meet or work with otherwise. I even play tennis with one of them now! CS: In addition to connecting with each other, how did you connect with the students?

Student Wearing Andrew's Tie

Andrew: On the night of the WOW! event one of my students, Jonathan, was really upset in the corner of the room. He is usually a pretty energetic kid so I went over and talked to him, and he simply said, "I hate my tie!" He hated it so much that he was embarrassed to be wearing it. So I offered him my tie and he got super excited. He instantly was back to normal and was a star performer of the evening. It was such a great moment.

CS: As part of the apprenticeship experience you went beyond the classroom and hosted an event at Bank of America for the students to network with bank executives. Why was that important?

Nanelle: I wanted to have the event at Bank of America for two reasons. When I was little I used to go to my father’s office. My dad worked in the Empire State Building. Those kinds of visits really stick with you as a child. Giving kids the opportunity to meet people and see people in the working environment is very important. The second reason is that sometimes it’s a challenge to get executives out of the office, so if we brought the kids to them, we could expose more people at the bank to Citizen Schools and to the students. It was a win-win.

CS: Was there a moment where you realized the impact your team was having on the students?

Andrew: One story pops immediately to mind. We did a lesson about working through our strengths and weaknesses. At the end of the day when we asked the students what they had learned, one girl raised her hand and said, ‘I learned that if I put my mind to it, I can do anything.’ It was incredible that she got that take-away and that she believed that. For me that was the number one example of seeing these kids transform and become more like adults. We all had goose bumps.

Do you want to experience the same impact that Nanelle and Andrew did? Sign up to teach an apprenticeship today and you’ll understand why so many volunteers keep coming back, and why, indeed, they learn more than they ever imagined.


How to Avoid Falling Off the School Cliff

A recent Gallup Poll article gives us one more thing to worry about: falling off the school cliff. According to the report, students become less and less engaged with every school year. The data shows that in elementary school nearly 80% of children are engaged in their classes. By middle school that engagement decreases to 61% of students and then plummets to 44% by high school. Brandon Busteed, Executive Director of Gallup Education says, "The drop in student engagement for each year students are in school is our monumental, collective national failure." So what can we do to fix it?

1. Build community partnerships.

Part of the problem is a lack of opportunity for kids to spread their creative and entrepreneurial wings. Gallup shows that 45% of kids from grades 5-12 want to start a business when they grow up. But shockingly, only 5% spend more than one hour a week exposed to a real business.

So let's bring the businesses to them. At Citizen Schools, 31 middle schools bring in professionals from big businesses like Google, Bank of America, Fidelity and Cognizant to give the kids the exposure and inspiration they need in middle school to get them excited about their futures. By leading hands-on classes called "apprenticeships" the kids aren't just being exposed to potential careers, they're doing them by investing in stocks, building robots and editing blogs. 80% of Citizen Schools students who experience a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) related apprenticeship report being interested in pursuing a career in STEM compared to only 33% of 8th graders who are interested in STEM careers nationally. How's that for boosting engagement?

2. Focus on the middle grades.

Middle school is absolutely critical for keeping kids engaged. As kids transition from elementary school where they are typically most engaged, keeping them on a path to success is imperative. According to research by Robert Balfanz in his Putting Middle School Grades Students on the Graduation Path report, the first year of middle school is the "make or break year" when the largest number of students develop potential indicators for dropping out.

The silver lining there is that his findings also show that 6th graders who develop "off-track" indicators tend to stay in school for at least 5 more years-- allowing time to reinvest in them and change their trajectories. By capitalizing on those important middle grades, those students can be re-engaged and put back on track.

3. Expand the learning day. 

It's not easy to give students the inspiration and exposure they need in the confinements of a traditional school day. Expanded learning time (ELT) allows schools more time to enrich and re-engage students by bringing in a second shift of fresh-faced educators. Kids who don't necessarily have the chance to play on sports teams, take piano lessons or join the chess club still need the opportunity to get their feet wet in trying new things. By adding on time at the end of the school day and using it wisely-- schools have the chance to reinforce learning through hands-on projects.

But does it work? In a recent New York Daily News article, Executive Director of Citizen Schools New York Nitzan Pelman pointed to the impressive results of the beginning stages of a three-year ELT pilot initiative. Over two years, Citizen Schools partner schools averaged a 10.4 percentage point gain in proficiency on math and English standardized tests. That meets the U.S. Department of Education standard for successful turnaround in three years. And it was done in only two!

Brandon Busteed says, "For each year a student progresses in school, they should be more engaged, not less." And they can be. We've seen it happen. Find out how can you help change education in America.

The Opportunity of an Expanded School Day

What could you do with 300 hours of extra time? In five states – Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Colorado, and Tennessee - select school districts decided to add 300 hours of time to the school day and year. At Citizen Schools, we see the benefits of a longer school day every day, but there are many ways that schools can add time. Barnett Berry, the founder and president of the Center for Teaching Quality, and Rick Hess, the Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, recently reflected on the potential change that expanded learning time (ELT) can have on students, schools, and communities if it is utilized in strategic ways. Hess and Barnett, believe, “ELT offers a window of opportunity to break the bonds of antiquated policies, calcified school organizations, and time-honored yet artless teaching roles.”

How can we use the opportunity of a longer school day to rethink the way students learn and are taught? Hess and Barnett call out four keys elements.

  • Re-engineer the role of the teacher: At Citizen Schools our teachers look a little different than what you might be used to. We engage hundreds of young educators who have joined the ranks of AmeriCorps and lead "teams" of students in the afternoon hours. They guide students and "Citizen Teachers" through hands-on learning projects on topics beyond the basics such as robotics, crime scene investigation and electrical engineering.
  • Rethink K-12, higher education, and community-based-organization resources: At Citizen Schools we think it's possible to re-imagine the learning day for middle school students. Middle school is a critical time in a child's life and by bringing in community partners such as Bank of America, Fidelity, and Cognizant, we try to take the best of what American cities have to offer and bring them in the classroom.
  • Reallocate resources to fuel innovation: In classrooms across the country Citizen Schools students are experiencing moments of discovery. Thanks to resources from i3 and Catalyst, we have the ability to use the extra school time to promote innovation and spark a passion for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
  • Reframe accountability to focus on the spread of teaching expertise: Citizen Schools relies on the expertise of all kinds of teachers-- those highly trained in behavior management and classroom instruction and those from areas outside of schools. By bringing traditional teachers and professionals from all sorts of careers together, our students are getting opportunities they otherwise wouldn't.

Tiffany Cooper Gueye, CEO of Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL), has her own take on what can make expanded school time successful for students, teachers, and schools. “Time has to be high quality for it to be effective. It has to reach the students who need it most -- those who are struggling academically and who lack educational opportunities and support outside of the school. And, it has to be sustainable.”

At Citizen Schools, we see the need for these elements and necessities in our daily work during a longer school day. By working with children in low-income communities, we strive to bring opportunities and resources to students who may not have received them otherwise. Our program redefines what it means to be an educator during after school hours with AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows, who provide academic mentoring and career coaching, and Citizen Teachers, professionals who volunteer their time to teach something they are passionate about.

We hope that this is only the beginning of an extended school day for the students who need additional resources and quality experiences most.

Are You More Financially Literate than a 6th Grader?

Christopher Flor is a Second Year Teaching Fellow at the Louise A. Spencer School in Newark, NJ. Too often, students are unprepared for the economic practicalities they'll face as adults. Heck, too often, adults are unprepared for the financial and economic realities they're currently facing. It is all too apparent that we need to increase financial literacy instruction (FLI) in our schools and, encouragingly, that movement is gaining ground around the country.

Over the past decade, the Federal Government has placed FLI on its agenda for education reform. As of 2009, 44 states had put in place curriculum guidelines for improving financial literacy across grades K-12.  Of these states, 24 of them require that all students receive instruction in personal finance.  After all, it cannot be overstated that having a basic understanding of personal finance is compulsory for success and stability in the 21st Century.

Citizen Schools has placed itself in the thick of this movement to improve financial literacy among scholars. Strong partnerships with corporations like Fidelity Investments and Bank of America are helping to bring personal finance education to our scholars.

Just this past February, Citizen Schools' programs at Louise A. Spencer and Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary Schools in Newark, NJ,  launched the first Stock Market Game in the national network.  The teams at both of these schools have joined schools around the country in participating in a national competition hosted by the Securities Industries and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).

The gains in students’ knowledge of financial literacy have been remarkable.  Already, our students can independently research stock quotes and use 21st Century research skills to deduce why a stock performs a certain way and to make informed decisions about predicting how a stock will perform in the future. 

Through this process, students have also learned the basics of how companies and corporations grow, how they raise capital by public trading on the market, and how diversification can protect a portfolio from the damages of risky investments.  But most importantly, students have learned a key skill that has for a long time separated working class citizens from their more wealthy counterparts in society: the understanding that working for money is not the only key to financial success and stability—rather, it is the ability to make your money work for you that generates the most wealth among economically successful citizens.

Nowhere was this incredible learning more evident than at Louise A. Spencer’s Financial Advisors Panel hosted by Fidelity Investments on Tuesday, April 24.  Our students sat attentively before Fidelity Vice President, Scott Bohlen and Fidelity advisors Grevin Rodriguez and Sujatha Sivakumaran as they discussed the realities of working in a competitive job market and gave insights about how to navigate the unpredictable nature of the market.  The interest of our apprentices was evidenced best in their thought provoking questions. Carlos asked, “What are the three best habits I can keep in school to become successful when I grow up?”  Other students asked about how to keep a job and do well in it.  Tyrek inquired about what short selling stock means, while Ebony asked about good college programs for business.

Citizen Schools' programs at Louise A Spencer and Martin Luther King, Jr. schools will wrap up their national competition with SIFMA on May 25.  Be sure to stay tuned to find out how our teams fared against other schools around the country!

"When you invest in education, you equalize the playing field."

In Charlotte, N.C., the community is coming together to address education in a powerful way thanks to investments from companies like Bank of America. Take a look at this video that highlights Citizen Schools and a group of partners that we are working with to ensure that all of Charlotte's children get the education they deserve.

"It's up to the adults in the community to make sure that every child gets the same quality education." - Denise Watts, Executive Director, Project L.I.F.T.

"We are focusing on trying to close the gaps that people have in education." - Charles Bowman, N.C. Market President, Bank of America

"Middle School is important because that's where we lose a lot of kids." - Tonya Horton, Executive Director, Citizen Schools North Carolina

"They (students) have got to know what to reach for." - Alison Harris, Principal, Ranson Middle School

"By being exposed to a variety of career opportunities and people, they (students) begin to know and discover who they really are." - Melissa Dunlap, Principal, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School

Corporate Employees Stepping Up to Teach

This spring, over 1,500 volunteer Citizen Teachers are teaching nearly 500 apprenticeships across the country. About 60 percent of those apprenticeships are being taught by volunteers from partner organizations and almost 300 Citizen Teachers come from ten companies: Google, Cisco, Fidelity, Cognizant, Bank of America, EMC, AOL, Facebook, Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard. These corporate volunteers are teaching our students about electrical engineering, investing, creating and marketing products, the science in baking, documentary filmmaking, LED technology, and so much more.

In New York, 230 sixth grade students from East Harlem and the Bronx visit the Google NY headquarters each week. Google is offering a wide range of exciting apprenticeships this semester including “Gourmet Google,” which looks at the cultural, biological, and economic aspects of food.

In North Carolina, Cisco employees are leading the “Brand You/Networking 101” apprenticeship, which teaches students about key marketing and business concepts. Cisco is also offering a math focused apprenticeship, “Building Blocks with Math,” which focuses on the fundamentals of math and design through the creation of 2D and 3D scalable models.

These are just a few examples of the tremendous learning opportunities our students are exposed to thanks to the support of our partners and Citizen Teachers. Learn more about how your company can get involved.

Fidelity Hosts 6 Degrees New Mexico

Last Friday, December the 2nd, at Fidelity Investments in Albuquerque, about 30 students from both Van Buren Middle School in Albuquerque, and De Vargas Middle School in Santa Fe, New Mexico met with 30 volunteers from Fidelity Investments (15),  local law firms (and law students), local non-profits, a veterinarian clinic, Bank of America and the Pope Joy Hall Performance Center at the University of New Mexico.

Students and volunteers participated in Speed Networking, each student/volunteer spent 4 minutes conversing before the students rotated to a new volunteer. At the end the students put their business cards in a fish bowl drawing where three students won prizes donated by Fidelity. There was a 20 minute free mingle time to finish the event where students could talk further to someone they already met or introduce themselves to someone they did not get an opportunity to meet during the speed networking portion.


Volunteer Ben Lewinger from Albuquerque Reads and the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce had this to say about the event,

"The Citizen Schools 6 Degrees event was a great opportunity for students to ask uninhibited questions about various educational and career paths, and a great opportunity for volunteers to share what they do and where they've been...and witness the excitement and maturity of some of New Mexico's up-and-comers.  Both groups learned a lot from each other and about themselves."

Leean Kravitz, the Director of Public Affairs at Fidelity concluded that,

“Participating in an event like 6 Degrees really brings home the impact of what Citizen Schools does to help students see their potential and plan for their future". 


Bank of America Gives Back to Charlotte - and to Citizen Schools

The Charlotte Observer published an article today announcing that Bank of America will provide $1 million in funding to over twenty local education organizations in Charlotte including Citizen Schools.  Communities in Schools, A Child's Place, Freedom School Partners and Classroom Central were also named as recipients.  Citizen Schools and others were selected based on increasing academic achievement, mentoring students and minimizing drop-out rates.  Commenting on the bank's schools initiative, North Carolina and Charlotte market president Charles Bowman said, "...we feel it's imperative to support organizations that provide innovative solutions."

Since 2006, Bank of America has provided a great deal of support to Citizen Schools North Carolina as well as other regions within Citizen Schools' national network.  More than 54 Bank of America employees have taught a combined 24 apprenticeships through our two Charlotte programs at Eastway Middle School and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School - and over half of those employees committed to more than one semester of volunteering.  These volunteer Citizen Teachers have shared their time and expertise with middle school students covering topics such as financial product development, event planning, financial journalism, entrepreneurship, world cultures, visual art, and even conflict resolution.  "Brand You" is one example of a Bank of America-led apprenticeship, and you can learn more about it here.



The President's Volunteer Service Award

Volunteering over 90,000 hours in middle schools teaching robotics, rocket science, web design, finance, and more, these modern heroes we call Citizen Teachers have gone above and beyond their call of duty. Created in 2003, the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation was established to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making in our communities. The Council created the President's Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service.

Congratulations to our beloved Citizen Teachers who have been recognized for their commitment to service and influencing the lives of students across the country. Many thanks to the national support and partnership we've received from Bank of America, Fidelity, Cognizant, and Google, in addition to over 100 organizations that provided volunteers to teach apprenticeships.

Thank you for your help in transforming education, one student at a time.

Boston Business Journal: Bank of America Donates $1M to Citizen Schools

Bank of America Pledges $50M to 5 Education Nonprofits; 4 Based in Mass. Boston Business Journal

July 18, 2011

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation announced that it will donate $50 million to education nonprofits over a three year period, including a $1 million donation to Citizen Schools as part of the initial grantmaking. The investment will go to expanding the school day and a new Bank of America Financial Education Business Entrepreneur apprenticeship that will begin in the fall. Read more here.