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Last night more than 700 people gathered at Cobo Center to attend the City Year Detroit’s Red Jacket Gala.

The money raised from the gala will help City Year improve the educational outcomes of students in Detroit.

City Year Detroit is part of the national City Year program. Locally, it is currently made up of 71 AmeriCorps members that have been selected to go into seven elementary and middle schools in Detroit.

These seven schools are feeder schools to the four high schools that make up 27% of likely drop outs.

The current goal for City Year Detroit’s Vice President and Executive Director Andrew Stein is to increase the number of AmeriCorp members from 71 to 139. He would also like to add an additional three schools in the next three to five years.

At this year’s gala City Year honored Matthew Simoncini, president and CEO of Lear Corporation with the 2017 Idealist in Action Award. Simoncini has been influential in providing support for City Year and Clark Preparatory Academy.

“I went to the public schools when there was a hope in the city of Detroit of a brighter future. I lived through the riots, I saw the best of times and worst of times. I saw times that we never thought the city would never come back from. We are on the cusp of a great turnaround, not just in the city but in the auto industry that Lear participates in,” said Simoncini. “But we have to ask ourselves as a community can we truly be a great city if we can’t educate our kids.”

Members of City Year Detroit help schools in three specific ways.

They focus on those students that might be falling through the cracks by providing mentoring and tutoring, especially in math and reading.

City Year helps support teachers during class by answering student questions during lessons.

Members also help the entire school by organizing after school programs that creates student engagement.