Press Contact:
Jamie Rothman

Education Champion at the School District of Philadelphia
is recognized with National Award

Philadelphia, PA (May 4, 2015) – Dr. Tonya Wolford, Deputy for Research and Evaluation at the School District of Philadelphia was named one of City Year’s Champions for Student Success at the Congressional Awards Dinner at Union Station in Washington D.C. on April 29. At the event, national and local leaders from the education, business, government, and philanthropic communities gatheredto discuss the unique and targeted role national service can play in helping to turn around low-performing schools.

Through systematicassessments, Dr. Wolford was able to verify and demonstrate to other education professionals the success of City Year Philadelphia’s Whole School, Whole Child model, which includes providing full-time support for the entire schoolin addition to targeted intervention for students with a high risk of dropping out. Through the objective interviewing of teachers and principals in City Year supported schools, Dr. Wolford’s work identified several characteristics that contribute to a successful City Year school partnership and areas where the experience could be enhanced. Dr. Wolford’s work was made possible by the William Penn Foundation.

“City Year is incredibly grateful to Dr. Wolford and her team. We look forward to working together to consistently make our services the best we can for the students we serve. These findings help us demonstrate the positive role that national service can play in improving our education system,” explains, Darryl Bundrige, Interim Executive Director at City Year Philadelphia.

As a Champion for Student Success, Dr. Wolford’s final report will benefit the 13,000 students in Philadelphia and the 170,000 students nationally who benefit from City Year’s work. It will also serve as an example to other education nonprofits.

Dr. Wolford was one of 26 award winners nationally to be recognized for advancing the impact of City Year in low-performing schools.

Attached Photo: (Left to Right) Alex Allen, City Year Regional Vice President; Darryl Bundrige, City Year Philadelphia Interim Executive Director; Dr. Tonya Wolford, Deputy for Research and Evaluation at the School District of Philadelphia; Jim Balfanz, City Year President; Dennis Scott Elwell City Year Philadelphia AmeriCorps Member; Michael Brown, City Year CEO.

About City Year: City Year is an education-focused organization founded in 1988 dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. City Year partners with public schools in 26 urban, high-poverty communities across the U.S. and through international affiliates in the U.K. and Johannesburg, South Africa. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members provide high-impact student, classroom and school-wide support, to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success. A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is made possible by support from the Corporation for National and Community Service, school district partnerships, and private philanthropy from corporations, foundations and individuals. Learn more at