Visualizing Success at Central Academy of Excellence

City Year mobilizes volunteers for day of service


The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday, Jan. 16, became a day of service for over 250 Central Academy of Excellence students and adult volunteers gathered together for City Year Kansas City’s first MLK Day of Service.

Each year, City Year mobilizes its AmeriCorps members along with additional volunteers for a day of service in communities across the nation benefiting schools, neighborhoods and more. This year in Kansas City, volunteers worked on 27 paintings and murals within Central to bring pride to the school.

The murals were designed to depict prominent African American leaders or inspirational quotes aimed to motivate students. A special mural created by Phil Shafer, aka Sike Style of Kansas City, illustrated Central’s motto: “I will. I can. I am. Central.”

“This is why MLK Day is one of my favorite holidays,” Jeff Shafer with City Year said. “To have a day dedicated to honoring Dr. King’s legacy and doing service to others, that’s what we want to promote.”

Charlette Wafer, Instructional Coach at Central, and her team started working with City Year in Early October to start planning for the day of service.

“It took numerous hours of outside planning along with multiple meetings with key stake holders to get everything ready for the event,” Wafer said.

By the numbers, City Year Kansas City’s first MLK Day of Service was a success:

  • Total number of volunteers: 250
  • Total number of projects completed: 27
  • Total hours served: 1,445
  • Total area painted: 10,600 square feet
  • Total value of donated supplies: $2,850
  • Estimated value of labor: $44,000

“We had over 35 students help with the murals as well as work on other service projects to benefit the community,” Wafer said. “This has been an excellent opportunity for us as a school and to partner with City Year. We are excited about the benefits it will bring to our students.”

City Year was born out of the desire to bridge the gap in education between what a teacher can provide and what a student actually needs. City Year’s AmeriCorp members, ages 18 to 24 years old, partnering with at-risk schools to help bridge that gap helping students reach their full potential and graduate high school.

For more information about City Year, visit Visit to learn more about the great educational opportunities available at Central Academy of Excellence.