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K-12 Education

Cody Rouge Initiative Invests $1.4M to Expand City Year Support for Neighborhood Students

DETROIT – The Cody Rouge Initiative (the Initiative), a public-private collaboration to support a resident-led vision to ensure Detroit’s Cody Rouge neighborhood is a great place to raise children, announced it is providing $1.4 million in funding over two years to City Year Detroit, an education-focused nonprofit that brings AmeriCorps volunteers into schools to build strong “near-peer” relationships with students. Funders include DTE Energy, General Motors, Quicken Loans, The Skillman Foundation, and Trinity Health.

The grant dollars will enable City Year Detroit to introduce AmeriCorps members to Cody High School, where they will provide one-on-one and small-group tutoring to students and organize school-wide events and afterschool programs. The funding expands an existing partnership between Detroit Public Schools Community District and City Year Detroit, which operates in 11 District schools, including Gompers Elementary-Middle School which feeds into Cody High School. City Year AmeriCorps members serve as tutors, mentors, and role models in schools every day providing students with critical academic and social-emotional supports — and the encouragement they need — to help them attend class, work hard, dream big, and graduate from high school on time and on track for future success.

“City Year AmeriCorps members build strong relationships with students and help them strengthen the skills essential for success in and out of school—social, emotional, and academic,” said Andrew Stein, executive director of City Year Detroit. “We have seen through our work at Gompers and other long-term partner schools that City Year can have a greater impact through a continuum of support to students and school communities over multiple years. This expansion into Cody High School is a natural extension of that work. With the support of the Cody Rouge Initiative and Detroit Public Schools Community District, we are incredibly excited to be able to provide support to Cody High School students for years to come.”

“It’s exciting to see City Year’s expansion grow throughout our district. City Year’s work is directly aligned to our vision to provide consistent and day to day academic, behavior, and attendance support to our students. The expansion is also consistent with our plan to provide more student services in our neighborhood feeder patterns. The initiative is also an example how our philanthropic partners are aligning their investments with our vision to rebuild the district,” said Nikolai Vitti, Superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District.

Cody Rouge Initiative partners expect that the expanded partnership of City Year Detroit in Cody Rouge schools will increase the number of students who achieve proficiency in math and reading and earn a high school diploma. A 2015 study by Policy Studies Associates found that schools that partnered with City Year were two-to-three times more likely to see improvements on English and math standardized tests.

“The Cody Rouge Initiative looks for ways to combine the investments and activities of our partners to amplify our collective impact on child well-being,” said Punita Dani Thurman, Vice President of Program & Strategy for The Skillman Foundation.  “City Year corps members play a critical role in schools and can transform the experience for students through these strong relationships—they can change the climate and culture of a school building and have dramatic impact on reducing rates of chronic absence.”

“DTE Energy is excited to see the transformative work that City Year will perform in the schools of Cody Rouge,” said Nancy Moody, vice president of public affairs at DTE Energy. “We are committed to supporting the neighborhoods where we live and serve and helping to prepare Detroit’s students for a rewarding career as part of our workforce development efforts, making City Year a perfect complement to this mission.”

“Our vision is to go beyond traditional health care to improve the social influencers of health that positively impact the people of Detroit, with a strong focus on youth in this community, through these collaborative partnerships,” said Dave Spivey, vice president of community health and well-being, Trinity Health Michigan and president and CEO of St. Mary Mercy Livonia.

“The Quicken Loans Community Fund believes quality and equitable education is the only way to prepare the next generation of Detroiters for the jobs that will both drive our city forward and end intergenerational poverty,” said Laura Grannemann, Vice President of Strategic Investments for the Quicken Loans Community Fund. “We are honored to support City Year’s significant and impactful work to ensure the life-long success of Detroit’s youth.”

“We’re proud to come together in support of City Year’s critical work in Cody Rouge schools,” said Heidi Magyar, Director of Corporate Giving at General Motors. “Their proven model is building long-lasting relationships and continues to serve as a catalyst on the path of success for so many Detroit students.”


The Cody Rouge Initiative is a private-public partnership focused on helping Cody Rouge, a west-side Detroit neighborhood, become a place where children and families thrive. The Initiative invests in education and career preparation for area youth as well as in neighborhood infrastructure. Organizing partners and funders include the Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance, DTE Energy, General Motors, Quicken Loans, The Skillman Foundation, and Trinity Health. Additional community partners include the City of Detroit Planning Department and Detroit Public Schools Community District. While partners involved in the Cody Rouge Initiative have long supported the Detroit community, the Initiative poses an opportunity to combine and coordinate resources within a target area and under a shared, resident-led vision. Cody Rouge residents are engaged in the project through the Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance, a nonprofit organization that supports Cody Rouge community members and stakeholders in enacting the changes they wish for their neighborhood.


City Year helps students and schools succeed. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members provide support to students, classrooms and the whole school, helping to ensure that students in systemically under-resourced schools receive a high-quality education that prepares them with the skills and mindsets to thrive and contribute to their community. A 2015 study shows that schools that partner with City Year were up to two-to-three times more likely to improve on math and English assessments. A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service, local school districts and private philanthropy. City Year partners with public schools in 29 communities across the U.S. and through international affiliates in the U.K. and South Africa. Learn more at or on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Skillman Foundation

A voice for children since 1960, The Skillman Foundation is a private philanthropy that serves as a fierce champion of Detroit children. The Foundation works to ensure Detroit youth achieve their highest aspirations by strengthening K-12 public education, afterschool learning opportunities, and college and career pathways.

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  • Penny Bailer

    Thank you, dear Skillman Foundation, DTE Energy, General Motors, Quicken Loans and Trinity Health for your magnificent partnership in funding City Year’s amazing impact on the future of the children in the Cody Rouge neighborhood — as well as so many others throughout Detroit!! And thank you, DEAR CITY YEAR TEAMS of amazing young adult corps members as well as City Year’s visionary LEADERSHIP and passion for the mission!! I’m so proud of all of you, I could burst!!
    🎉🇺🇸❤️🙌😎🎊 🇺🇸❤️🙌😎🎉


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