Printer Friendly Format Share

PR- 241-12
June 25, 2012


NYC Civic Corps Members Complete Year of Service, Having Mobilized 747,000 New Yorkers to Volunteer and Address the City’s Most Pressing Needs

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today delivered remarks at the graduation ceremony of the City's third NYC Civic Corps class - a specially trained group of AmeriCorps members who work at nonprofit organizations and City agencies to help increase the number of volunteers they can utilize and serve a greater number of New Yorkers in need. The NYC Civic Corps members just completed their ten-month term of service, during which they worked to create sustainable volunteer management structures within nonprofits. During their year of service, the Civic Corps members helped nonprofits and City agencies recruit more than 747,000 volunteers. The NYC Civic Corps is a key component of NYC Service, the Mayor's comprehensive initiative to promote a new era of volunteerism in New York City and direct volunteers toward the City's areas of greatest need. The Mayor was joined at the graduation ceremony at Gracie Mansion by First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris; the City's Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford; NYC Civic Corps Director Kevin Cummings and Matthew Surrusco, a member of the 2011-2012 NYC Civic Corps class, who was chosen to represent the corps.

"Our Civic Corps participants help improve our ability to meet nearly every kind of need: from public health and public safety to environmental sustainability," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Over the past year our Civic Corps class has signed up hundreds of the thousands of new volunteers. Every time volunteers give back, they create a ripple that spreads outward to impact the lives of many New Yorkers."

"Throughout the five boroughs, NYC Service and our Civic Corps members are making a real impact in the lives of New Yorkers and their communities," said First Deputy Mayor Harris. "We are especially proud of the work the Civic Corps is doing to build volunteer capacity at the city's not-for-profit organizations, allowing them to reach even more individuals in need of their help."

"The impact that these dedicated Civic Corps members make is so far-reaching," said Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford. "More of our city's schoolchildren were tutored and mentored, more young people learned about greening our city and leading healthy, active lives, and more New Yorkers in need of food support have received it, all because the Civic Corps members have built systems to engage volunteers in these activities."

Civic Corps members aim to build service programs that channel volunteers toward addressing some of New York City's most pressing challenges, including education, economic opportunity, public health, and the environment. This year, Corps members recruited, managed, and trained volunteers to: mentor more than 6,700 students across the city, engage 13,300 youth in physical education activities to reduce childhood obesity, deliver education about the impact of green initiatives to nearly 27,000 youth, and administer support services to alleviate long-term hunger to 2,000 New Yorkers. In addition to leveraging volunteers, this year's Corps raised approximately $1.6 million in funds for their host organizations, including over $600,000 and $970,000 in in-kind donations.

NYC Civic Corps members are dispatched in teams, typically comprised of two or three members, at public and nonprofit organizations received a Civic Corps team. The program is made possible through a partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service and the New Yorkers Volunteer program. The federal funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service is provided through a three-year AmeriCorps grant, of which Civic Corps is entering its third year.

Nearly 121 public and nonprofit organizations and 380 individuals applied to be a part of this year's NYC Civic Corps. Civic Corps members and host organizations were selected through a rigorous application process, screened by the AmeriCorps program and a City committee formed by NYC Service. All Civic Corps members receive a $1,270 monthly living allowance, health benefits, and an AmeriCorps Education Award, which can be used towards existing student loans or future education expenses. The application for the 2012-2013 class will launch this week.

The 2011-2012 class of the NYC Civic Corps:

  • Average age: 26 years old
  • Youngest corps member: 22 years old
  • Oldest corps member: 58 years old
  • Countries represented: Albania, China, Ghana, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Korea, Myanmar, Peru, Russia, Saint Lucia, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom.
  • Members from New York City: 63
  • Members from New York State: 77
  • Other states represented: Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Following specialized training administered by NYC Service, the NYC Civic Corps received extensive training at the host organizations before beginning their work in volunteer engagement. The public and nonprofit host organizations for the 2011-2012 NYC Civic Corps:

  • Animal Care and Control of NYC
  • The Boys' Club of New York
  • Brooklyn Community Foundation
    • Achievement First
    • Brooklyn Public Library
  • buildOn
  • F·E·G·S Health and Human Services System
  • FDNY Foundation
  • Feerick Center for Social Justice at Fordham University School of Law
  • Free Arts NYC
  • Harlem Educational Activities Fund
  • Harlem RBI
  • iMentor
  • Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House
  • Jumpstart
  • Leake and Watts Services
  • Learning Leaders
  • Literacy, Inc.
  • New York Cares
  • New York City Housing Authority
    • Green City Force
  • New York City Department for the Aging - TimeBanksNYC
  • Citizens Committee for New York City
  • Common Cents
  • CFY
  • GrowNYC
    • Isabella Geriatric Center
    • ReServe
    • Visiting Nurse Service of New York
  • New York City Department of Education
  • New York City Department of Parks & Recreation - Shape Up NYC
  • New York City Department of Parks & Recreation - MillionTreesNYC
    • Friends of Van Cortlandt Park
    • Prospect Park Alliance
  • New York City Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs
  • New York City Office of Emergency Management
  • Phipps CDC
  • Pro Bono Net
  • StreetWise Partners

During the third year of the program NYC Civic Corps members helped build or expand volunteer programs at a wide range of organizations throughout the five boroughs. At The Boys' Club of New York, Corps members more than tripled the volunteer engagement number, and these volunteers have in turn supported 2,200 students through the organization's afterschool programming. Corps members at MillionTreesNYC have trained over 2,000 tree stewards who pledge to train other volunteers in tree care techniques. At Phipps CDC, Corps members implemented a new Peer Tutoring model and thus far 31 of the tutored students have demonstrated improved academic performance. The Corps members at Free Arts NYC streamlined the volunteer intake process and increased the organization's total volunteers engaged by more than 80 percent to 2,600 volunteers, who provide arts education and mentoring to support children's academic and social development. At Isabella Geriatric Center, Corps members redesigned the volunteer orientation materials, and implemented a new system to schedule and track volunteer participation and attendance. Leake and Watts Corps members developed a corporate volunteer program and engaged more than 450 volunteers in over 1,000 hours of service to support the organizations social services programs.

In addition to the funding provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, NYC Civic Corps benefits from the generous contributions of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, the Lizzie and Jonathan M. Tisch Foundation, and Target.

About NYC Service
The NYC Civic Corps is the signature initiative of NYC Service, which was launched by Mayor Bloomberg in April 2009 to meet his State of the City pledge for New York City to lead the nation in answering President Obama's national call to volunteerism. NYC Service is meeting its goals to make New York City the easiest place in the world to volunteer, target volunteer efforts to address the most pressing local challenges, and promote service as a core part of what it means to be a New Yorker. NYC Service aims to drive volunteer resources to six impact areas where New York City's needs are greatest: strengthening communities, helping neighbors in need, improving education, increasing public health, enhancing emergency preparedness and protecting our environment.

Since its inception in April of 2009, NYC Service has engaged over 2 million New Yorkers in a wide range of volunteer activities, from beautifying neighborhood blocks, to providing tax assistance to low-income families, to volunteering to teach free fitness classes at City recreation centers, to coating rooftops with reflective white paint to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. NYC Service oversees 25 new or expanded volunteer initiatives and the comprehensive website, located at, has made it easier for New Yorkers to find opportunities to make a difference. More than 560,000 unique visitors to the NYC Service website had access to over 5,700 volunteer opportunities.

New Yorkers can find opportunities to serve their communities by visiting or by calling 311.


Stu Loeser / Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958


TwitterTwitter   TwitterYouTube   FlickrFlickr
More Resources