Last Friday, Toni Schwarzenbach Burke spoke to PAUR about City Year and how they are closing the gap between what students need to succeed and what schools are designed to provide. As the Vice President and Executive Director of City Year San José/Silicon Valley, she leads 74 AmeriCorps members serving in seven schools, leading to an impact totaling more than 3,600 students every day.

In high-poverty communities, external factors and obstacles that students are faced with every day can interfere with their chance at education and ability to get ready for school; over 2,600 students in San José drop out of high school every year. City Year believes that education has the power to help every child reach his or her potential, so they use peer-mentors to help out San José’s most under-served schools and to address specific areas that lead to students dropping out. It was wonderful hearing about the positive impact this organization has on our future leaders.