When Stephanie Cineas graduated from Maynard Evans High School in 2008, she didn’t plan to return. That was before she heard about City Year, a national organization that places young adults in high-need urban schools for one year.
Now, Cineas, a 22-year-old UF sociology alumna, teaches ninth grade algebra at her alma mater.
Of the 2,500 corps members this year, 24 are UF graduates. UF ranks No. 6 among the top 10 feeder schools for City Year’s corps, following No. 1 University of California Riverside and No. 8 Florida International University, the only other Florida school on the list.
City Year’s vice president of communications, Shaun Adamec, said about 75 percent of corps members are college graduates.
“Selected candidates possess qualities that lend to success in service in high-need and high-poverty schools, where students are usually dealing with far more than just struggling with grades,” he said.
Florida has City Year offices in Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville.
“I don’t think people understand that high need,” said Josh Funderburke, executive director of UF’s Center for Leadership and Service. “If it were easy and something that people wanted to do, there wouldn’t be a need for this program.”
Daniel Sibol, a 20-year-old political science and statistics junior, is one of the first two UF City Year ambassadors. He schedules information sessions for students and attends events geared toward life after graduation in an effort to create awareness for the program.
Sibol believes UF students show strongly in the rankings because getting involved is stressed so intensely.
“Ever since Preview, everyone has been yelling at me to get involved,” he said.