Formally, City Year is a nonprofit Americorps organization that unites young people of all backgrounds for a demanding year of full-time service. As tutors, mentors, and role models, these idealistic leaders make a difference in the lives of children, and transform schools and neighborhoods across the US and in South Africa.
Informally, City Year is a bunch of sleep-deprived college kids, who are a dangerous combination of directionless and strong-minded, drive big, unmarked, white vans to schools, and prance and dance on a regular basis in very obvious locations. They are renowned for drinking too much metaphoric Kool-aid; when they're drinking real Kool-aid, it's made from a mix they bought using food stamps.
Oddly enough, people seem to really appreciate having bunches of teenagers dressed in City Year's trademark red (or yellow) jackets hanging around.
This is likely due to the fact that City Year members get a crapload more positive work done than a fair chunk of the people who get all the credit in the nation, at about 1/23984th the salary.
"I was once a depressed and unacademic middle school youth, but ever since those City Year guys showed up, I have learned to be the change I wish to see in my community!"
"Is that Kool-aid on your breath?"