Michael Brown is the co-founder and president of City Year, a national youth service corps that helped to inspire the development of AmeriCorps, the nation's federal investment in national youth service. Founded in 1988 with 50 young people in service in Boston, City Year operates coast to coast on an annual budget of more than $40 million, enlisting more than one thousand young adults nationwide for a demanding year of full-time community service, civic engagement and leadership development and providing strategic leadership for the national service movement.
City Year "corps members," ages 17 to 24, serve fulltime for one year - an "annual campaign of idealism" -- addressing pressing community needs, including serving as teachers' aides, running after school programs and school vacation camps, teaching violence and AIDS prevention, rehabilitating public housing units, and building parks and playgrounds. Since its founding in 1988, City Year has engaged more than 7,800 young adults in service, provided more than 11.8 million hours of service to more than more than 840,000 children and 1,000 nonprofit organizations, schools and community centers, and generated more than $30 million in post-service scholarships for the young adults who serve.
With his fellow City Year co-founder, Alan Khazei, Michael is a social entrepreneur seeking to bring private sector entrepreneurial concepts to the civic sector. In addition to City Year, Michael and Alan founded the "serve-a-thon" concept, a celebratory day of metro-wide community service and pledge-based fundraising, now used by many other nonprofit organizations as a fundraising and civic engagement event.
Michael often speaks around the country on issues relating to youth policy, national service and democracy building, including how the ideas of the American Revolution apply to modern civic life. He has compiled a booklet, Putting Idealism To Work, which documents City Year's values, ideas and methods, including "Commit totally to your work, and your commitment will bring about the commitment of others."
For his work developing City Year, Michael Brown has been awarded the Reebok Human Rights Award, the Jefferson Award of the American Institute for Public Service, the National Caring Award, the Boston Bar Association's Public Service Award, and four honorary degrees, including Doctor of Public Service from Northeastern University.
Prior to founding City Year with his college roommate, Alan Khazei, Michael served as a legislative aide for then Congressman Leon Panetta, a public information officer for the City Volunteer Corps (CVC) of New York City, and law clerk for Federal Judge, now Supreme Court Justice, Stephen Breyer.
Michael is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he served as a member of the Harvard Law Review. He is married to Dr. Charlotte Mao, an infectious disease specialist who cares for children with AIDS. Michael, Charlotte, and their children, Spencer, Nicholas, and Sidonie, live in Brookline, Massachusetts.
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