City Year unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service as tutors, mentors and role models. These diverse young leaders help children stay on track in school and transform schools and communities across the nation, as well as through international affiliates in Johannesburg and London.

City Year was awarded a $37,500 grant by the NBCUniversal Foundation on Tuesday. It was one of six nonprofits in the Los Angeles area to recieve grants.

“Together we’re building a citizen-service movement that is larger than our organization, our lifetime, and ourselves,” said creative director Brian Hayes. “The more you learn about City Year, the more you are inspired by the energy, passion and optimism that shine through everything they do.”

City Year was founded in 1988 in the belief that young people can change the world. At City Year’s locations across the United States and in South Africa, young people–called corps members–serve full-time for 10 months.

By giving corps members the skills and opportunities to serve in schools and neighborhoods across the country, City Year seeks to help students and schools succeed, build stronger communities, break down social barriers and develop young leaders.

Because corps member are close in age to the students they work with they are uniquely qualified to aid in student attendance, behavior and course work, which research confirms, are indicators of a student’s likelihood of graduating from high school. This school-based service is at the heart of City Year’s approach to helping students and schools succeed.

“You have to have folks with our students every single day, making a difference in their lives.

That’s what City Year does, with its diversity, with its long-term commitment, with its passionate young people. There’s no one else I know of in the country who is having that kind of impact,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a statement.

Through the organization’s Whole School, Whole Child service model, City Year deploys diverse teams of full-time corps members to help students stay on track–and get back on track–to graduate.

These young leaders begin their in-school service before the first bell rings and stay until the last child leaves the after-school program by providing academic support, attendance monitoring and incentives, positive behavior support, after-school programming, and in-school programs and activities during assemblies and celebrations that improve the overall school environment.

Nearly 90 percent of all students tutored by City Year improved raw literacy scores, and there was a 55 percent reduction in the number of students with less than 90 percent attendance as a result of City Year’s attendance support activities.

Donation’s can be made to the nonprofit through a number of different ways. Young people are encouraged to give a year of service to keep the program flourishing. City Year also relies on in-kind donations from a variety of companies to support day-to-day operations, service initiatives and special events. Lastly, by joining Friends of City Year International (FOCI) or making a donation to the Alan Amir Ali Khazei Fund and other international initiatives individuals and companies can help support the program and the children it serves. For more information on City Year or to make a donation, visit the website at www.cityyear.org.