ServeNext.org Blog

Notes from the Field – ‘I Make America’

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on October 8, 2012

Post by Pete McRoberts, ServeNext Organizer for Iowa

I’ve written here on a few occasions of the great bipartisan history in Iowa related to National Service. Republicans and Democrats in the state have, with very few exceptions, recognized the role members of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps have played in Iowa.

This history connected with the present here in Iowa last week, around a visit by Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. We had the pleasure of hosting her for a full day of community and Congressional events, culminating in the induction of the new AmeriCorps*NCCC FEMA Corps.

The morning began with a FEMA Corps briefing for Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell, a highly decorated Viet Nam veteran and Dean of the House delegation, and moved quickly into another briefing with Congressman Tom Latham, a senior Republican appropriator, and a local AmeriCorps site visit, with Rep. Latham as well as (Republican) Governor Terry Branstad.

In a rare political twist, Congressman Boswell and Congressman Latham are opponents for next month’s election. This is a hard-fought and competitive race. A substantial amount of money is coming into this state and the next weeks are very likely to be very rough.

It’s worth recognizing, however, that in the middle of such a strenuous campaign, these Members have consistently taken time (and hard votes,) to put partisan politics aside and come down strongly on the side of national service.

As Members of the National Service Caucus in the House, Boswell and Latham have supported AmeriCorps and Senior Corps consistently. They have given their time, their attention, and their work to help strengthen national service. They have earned the respect and appreciation of us all.

In addition to the example of Congressmen Latham and Boswell, it’s worth noting that Governor Terry Branstad, since his earliest days in office, has been a strong supporter, for literally thirty years. As Governor through the 80s and 90s, he presided over the expansion of the Governor’s Office on Volunteerism and opened the first state service commission in our history. He worked with then-Governor Bill Clinton and President George H.W. Bush to tie national service to expanded educational opportunities.

When he returned to office in 2011, he found that his successors as Governor – Tom Vilsack and Chet Culver (both Democrats) had continued to work toward making national service a part of our state’s culture. For disclosure’s sake, I spent three years working directly for Governor Culver. I will always remember getting the call from as levees broke during the floods of 2008 — “Let’s send as many AmeriCorps members as we can to help” – four years later, there are still AmeriCorps members working to rebuild Iowa.

And that leads us to the FEMA Corps. FEMA Corps is housed in Vinton, IA, at the site of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, “NCCC,” campus, and is a new initiative in disaster relief and recovery. Disaster recovery is nothing new to the Vinton campus. The campus was activated in the summer of 2008, and days later, our storms hit. To that, at the request of Governor Culver and Senator Tom Harkin, a full 50% of Corps members were assigned to Iowa recovery in the first year of the campuses history.

The members saved lives and provided a clear example as to how national service and disaster relief are joined. Senator Harkin came to the induction, to keynote the ceremony, and to swear in the members with Wendy. For some context, Senator Harkin is responsible for all matters relating to NCCC and the Corporation for National and Community Service. But to be clear, this is a very small part of the federal budget. His personal involvement in NCCC is evidence as to his view on the importance of national service, and that was reflected in this visit.

Senator Harkin spent three hours on campus for this event – he literally spent hours meeting corps members and families on his way out. Speaking for myself as a former Harkin aide, I could see the difficulty his staff had in getting him out of there at all – because getting him out on time ceased to be an option very early on.

During his keynote, he spoke of his Dad – a member of the WPA in the 30’s – he spoke of his own time as a Navy pilot; he recognized the corps for its work in disability inclusion (Harkin authored the Americans with Disabilities Act.)

But maybe the most poignant moment came at the very end of his speech. He told an often repeated story about a teacher. He talked about the teacher, upon being asked, “what do you make?,” in the story, the teacher says, “I make kids smile. I make kids read. I make kids work hard and I make them wonder and I make a difference.”

Harkin then looked up from his notes, and said,

“When someone asks you what you make, you tell them, ‘I make America.’”

Wow. Just wow.

Thanks to Wendy Spencer, Rep. Leonard Boswell, Rep. Tom Latham, Gov. Terry Branstad and Sen. Tom Harkin. And thank you to the members of the Senior Corps and AmeriCorps in Iowa. You make Iowa and you make America.

Posted in Advocacy and Policy | Leave a Comment »

My Meeting with Sen. Marco Rubio’s Regional Director

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on September 26, 2012

Post by Vanessa Christiansen, ServeNext Organizer for Miami

Last week at the Opportunity Nation Summit, Senator Marco Rubio was a keynote speaker and spoke about his vision for increasing opportunity for all Americans. The same week I had the opportunity to meet with his Miami office Regional Director Alyn Cruz-Higgins about how we need the Senators help with expanding opportunities for Americans to serve their country through national service programs like AmeriCorps.  With me I had diverse representatives from Florida’s service community: Angelica Bertot of City Year, Kevin Bulger with AmeriCorps Alum, and Donovan Pierre of Communities in Schools.

Each representative presented moving stories of impact and data of AmeriCorps members within their organization. Each of them appealed to the Senator as his constituents using qualitative and quantitative data from their personal experiences as well as their organizations. Donovan told of his personal story of growing up as an inner-city youth in the streets of Liberty City and using AmeriCorps as a method of personal and professional development which brought him to his current position, Communities in Schools Site Coordinator for AmeriCorps. While the representatives of each program spoke about the loss to communities across Florida if funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service was cut, they also spoke about the history of national service in the nation and the innovation of AmeriCorps in leveraging federal dollars by acquiring private sector matching funds.

At the end of the visit, I asked Ms. Cruz-Higgins to relay to the Senator two asks:  1.) to join the National Service Caucus in the Senate and increase Republican representation and 2.) visit one of the many service organizations who utilize national service members to better their community.  She happily informed us that although the Senator had never personally visited, she had and so had his wife.  She let us know that he has very limited time but that we could use her e-mail to update her and the office on AmeriCorps Alum Miami Chapter happenings.

As we all breathe a collective sigh of relief over the short-term continuing resolution funding the government including AmeriCorps for the next 6 months, we have to make sure that our voices are continued to be heard. This is not a victory but a quick intermission.

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Notes from Iowa – A Moment with the President

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on September 16, 2012

Post by Pete McRoberts, ServeNext Organizer for Iowa

I’m a native Iowan, born and raised, and here is where I have made my career and home life. I like it here. I like Iowans and I like how we do politics.

One of the things I really like is that as the kick-off state for Presidential elections, every few years we get a lot of candidates in audiences of all sizes. For the last six years, it seems at any given moment, a White House hopeful is either visiting the state,  or announcing a trip back here.

There is something unique when the candidate for election also happens to be the sitting President. The scale gets larger, and the access we grew accustomed to during caucus season isn’t typically possible anymore.

Iowa Grassroots Event

So, when President Obama came to Des Moines recently, for a campaign rally, I had to think that the days of being able to say hello to him and maybe grab a second about national service were over. I thought our best shot at spreading the word about AmeriCorps was likely limited to getting a second glance from a reporter – maybe a member of the press would ask about our “Expand National Service” t-shirts – maybe.

I should have known better. The state office of Obama for America has kept an open door on matters of national service, routinely helping ServiceNation/ServeNext volunteers and former AmeriCorps members get into events with the President or Vice President.

To that, I was still surprised when, while waiting to get in, the State Director of OFA came over to me, and gifted me a set of special tickets to the event, substantially better than the ones I’d had before.

In practical terms, this meant instead of hoping for a a bit of attention from the press, that my team was placed in the front row, just feet from the President. Around us were statewide electeds (including our Attorney General Tom Miller – a former VISTA and national service advocate,) media, and senior staff.

Once we were placed, things moved quickly. The President was introduced by Army veteran, and member of the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, Lucas Beenken, (read about him here) and the event got underway.

Meeting Obama

The President spoke, and then began to work the rope line. Of course, there is very little time for him to spend with people in that setting, but it was my pleasure to thank him for AmeriCorps and the Serve America Act before he moved on. It was over quickly, but it was a great reminder as to why we do what we do. It was a potent thing to think about national service as a part of his administration, and as a key part of solving some major challenges in the country.

I am grateful to the staff of OFA for putting ServeNext into that audience with the President. It was a big deal. And I look forward to the rest of the election season, talking national service with candidates and officeholders from both parties – even if for just a moment on a rope line.

Serve proud!

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My Meeting with Sen. Bill Nelson’s Regional Director

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on September 10, 2012

Post by Vanessa Christiansen, ServeNext Organizer for Miami

My third month as ServeNext Organizer ended with a visit to Senator Nelson’s office in Coral Gables to meet with his Regional Director Mr. Pedro Villa. With me I had a diverse constituency of representatives from Florida’s national service community: Meredith Beattie of City Year, Dominique Brandt of Habitat for Humanity, Kevin Bulger with AmeriCorps Alum, and Samuel Ludington of Trinity.

Sen. Nelson Staff

My most memorable part of the visit actually happened before we officially began, when I was introducing myself to Mr. Villa. Upon hearing the name ‘ServeNext’ Mr. Villa immediately turned to me and said, “Wait, we had someone from ServeNext come to the office last year and speak on support of national service as well!”  I am used to people having to have their memory jogged about ServeNext or having to repeat myself several times – even with people I have already previously met with.  So imagine my pleasant surprise when Mr. Villa made that exclamation and knew what we were there to talk about.  It set the tone to what proved to be a very positive meeting.

The stories of impact and data we shared was impressive. Each program spoke about the impact of AmeriCorps in their fields and how devastating it would be to the communities they served if AmeriCorps and funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service was cut. At the end of the visit, we asked Mr. Villa to relay to the Senator two asks: 1.) To join the National Service Caucus and 2.) To visit one of the many sites that host national service members to do critical work for Florida. We were happy to hear from Mr. Villa that the Senator had visited a site in the past and we hope he will visit another soon.

This interaction was one of my biggest bright spots during the month of August.  The fact that Mr. Villa remembered the previous ServeNext Miami organizer, Catherine Houlihan, showed me that the work I do today is building on the work previously done by my predecessor.  With this I realized how important it is to adopt perseverance as a value.

We, as a national service community, cannot be discouraged by the times we have to repeat ourselves to people who don’t understand the value of service or don’t even know what AmeriCorps is. We cannot just participate in one call day or one district day because the key to building support for AmeriCorps and all national service is continuing to build positive relationships with our members of congress and their staff. The key is standing firm as a unified national service community in order for us to achieve consistent support for expanding opportunities to serve.

It is too easy to say “Why do we have to do a call day again, we just did one last year.” What we are facing is the burden of advocacy. Standing up and fighting for a cause you believe in never ends.  We have to win every small battle in order to win the war. We have to continue to persevere and we must do so using collaboration and continuity. We need to build on the momentum and rejuvenate ourselves, as a national service community.

Posted in Advocacy and Policy | Leave a Comment »

Iowa’s Bi-Partisan Leadership for National Service

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on September 8, 2012

Post by Pete McRoberts, ServeNext Organizer for Iowa

Iowa has a long history of political support for AmeriCorps, and I recently had a chance to visit with three of Iowa’s champions for national service at the “State Fair Soapbox” in Des Moines. The Soapbox is a chance for people to come and listen to candidates in an ‘up close’ setting, and to visit with Members of Congress in person, as I did, with Congressmen Dave Loebsack (D,) Leonard Boswell (D,) and Tom Latham (R.)

Mr. Loebsack has long been exceptionally well-versed in AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America; in fact, upon seeing the “Expand National Service” slogan on my ServeNext t-shirt, he was ready to roll about fully funding national service for Iowans – young people, students, and seniors specifically. Mr. Loebsack is engaged in a tough election in his district, but even with that, he spends a substantial amount of time on national service, having recently introduced a bill to refocus the federal Department of Education’s service structure. I’ve worked in organizational politics for getting close to 15 years now; in that time, few things have made me as happy as having a Member of Congress simply say loudly and clearly, “Don’t worry – I love national service and you can count on my vote” as Congressman Loebsack did.

Rep. Loebsack

Of course, in Iowa, sentiments like that happen very often in Iowa, and were echoed by Congressman Leonard Boswell later that day. Mr. Boswell spent years in the US Army as a helicopter pilot, came back home from Viet Nam to farm, and to enter state politics. Representing a rural area in the State Senate and then in the US House, his experience with RSVP, FGP and Senior Companions, in addition to AmeriCorps, has influenced his work in the House as a member of the National Service Caucus. He spoke at length with me about the work members are doing in the state of Iowa, and asked us to set up a site visit for him. Congressman Boswell has seen the efforts of AmeriCorps disaster relief up close – his home city of Des Moines was hit hard during the floods of 2008.

 

Rep. Boswell

Mr. Latham, also a member of the National Service Caucus in the US House, has most recently visited a Habitat site in central Iowa, and is scheduled to attend a state mentoring program later this month. Mr. Latham and his senior staff specifically mentioned budgetary issues in the House and asked us to keep working with them to ensure consistent support for AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. It should be noted that Congressman Latham is the only senior Republican member of the House who has supported us consistently over the years, even when doing so went against the wishes of his party leadership. I thanked him for that; he simply responded by telling the AmeriCorps members to keep up their service and good work.

Rep. Latham

It should be noted that due to Congressional redistricting, Mr. Boswell and Mr. Latham are currently opponents in this upcoming election, which unfortunately means the Congress will lose one or the other major supporters of national service. It is nonetheless a sign of how fundamentally decent these two Members are, that even in the heat of a very difficult campaign, that they both continue to put partisan difference aside and come out strongly in support of national service.

In addition to these three Members, we are uncommonly fortunate to be represented by Senators Tom Harkin, Chuck Grassley, and Representative Bruce Braley. They are simply national leaders in the service community, and have earned our gratitude. Senator Harkin, Senator Grassley, and Congressman Braley are up next for site visits later this year, so stay tuned and serve proud!

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Senator Tester Tours Butte Habitat for Humanity Homes, Sees Value of AmeriCorps First Hand

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on September 7, 2012

Post by Heather Margolis, ServeNext Organizer for Montana

On August 30th, Senator Jon Tester toured three beautiful Habitat and self-help built homes that graced the rugged hillside of Butte, each in various stages of completion. The crowd that gathered ranged in age from college students to retired citizens all who played a role in building the walls of the habitat houses. Montana Campus Compact (MTCC) have historically partnered with Habitat to build homes and strengthen Habitat’s volunteer recruitment. These AmeriCorps Alums represented alums from Montana Campus Corps program, who attended Highlands College; Montana Tech, as well as recent MTCC AmeriCorps VISTAs alums.

Todd Hunkler, an MTCC AmeriCorps VISTA alum, greeted me and introduced me to Barbara Miller, a shared executive who directs two self-help organizations – Habitat of Southwest Montana and National Affordable Housing Network. I thanked her for including me in the Habitat volunteer appreciation event, which provided a chance for the community to come out and celebrate their achievements.

These houses represented economic stability for their new owners, grit and commitment to serving on behalf of the AmeriCorps alums, students, and community volunteers. The crowd all wearing “I support AmeriCorps” stickers welcomed Senator Tester who greeted them enthusiastically.

Barbara Miller led Senator Tester through the energy efficient homes and explained how the homeowners contribute sweat equity into the projects and work alongside the college students, AmeriCorps members and community volunteers.

Senator Tester had a chance to talk with Roxanne, a disabled retired nurse, a homeowner of a self -help house built six years ago, and current Habitat volunteer site supervisor. Roxanne shared how her contributions to building her own house had helped her adapt to her own physical disabilities. Through service she gained new strength and improved ability to walk again, and she has volunteered ever since. Roxanne is now a role model for the young Montana Campus AmeriCorps Alumni who helped build these homes last spring. They returned to the site to show their appreciation for all that they learned including labor skills and the value of hard work and of community accomplishment.

Roxanne explained that these kids give her hope. Barbara Miller explained further how AmeriCorps VISTAs have been an infusion of youth and energy into Butte that has been watching the city age along with its population. Many of the VISTAs who came, have stayed and played a critical role in the cities re-vitalizations efforts.

The Senator shared a few words and thanked all of the volunteers and AmeriCorps members and alums for their service to Butte and Montana.

“AmeriCorps engages youth in community service and does a lot of good for folks in Montana,” said Tester. “AmeriCorps is a responsible initiative that teaches valuable skills, a solid work ethic, and makes a difference in Montana communities.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Posted in Advocacy and Policy | Leave a Comment »

Advocacy is for Everybody!

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on September 4, 2012

Post by Nicole Schmidt, ServeNext Organizer for Ohio

Is there an issue that you care deeply about as a voter? I care about National Service and since you are reading this blog I assume you do too!

This election season, we are talking a lot about who we are voting for and why but voting is only the first step if you want to be a more engaged citizen. We cannot assume that our law makers know what is important to us as a constituent. Our law makers are not super human mind readers! They depend on their constituents to educate them about issues affecting their state. Advocacy is for everyday people who care about their country. People just like you and me. That’s why I love the work I do for ServeNext. I connect law makers with people on the ground in Ohio working to better their communities.

On Friday August 24th I arranged for a group of National Service Stakeholders to meet with Senator Brown’s Deputy State Director Beth Thames. We took her on a site visit to Towards Employment in Cleveland. This is a great organization that is empowering individuals to achieve and maintain self sufficiency through employment. We had representatives from several different organizations present to share how Americorps members help to meet community needs through service. The highlight of our visit was the tour of the jobs lab. We were able to see an Americorps member teaching a class on resume preparation, and how to complete a successful job interview. This was a huge hit! Ms. Thames was able to meet the actual recipients of service, and understand the impact Americorps members have on families here in Ohio. We are looking forward to our next visit with Senator Brown’s office.

On Wednesday August 29th, our ServeNext Ohio team had the opportunity to meet with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. We were so pleased that she took the time to hear about the important work being done by national service members in her district. During her visit Congresswoman Kaptur voiced her strong support for the CNCS. We shared with her our need for a champion on the Hill and asked her to consider joining the National Service Caucus. She said “I would be happy to join the National Service Caucus.” Our team was very pleased with her support and look forward to future opportunities with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. Check out The Chronicle Telegram article about our visit.

I hope that you will join ServeNext in speaking up for National Service! If you don’t, who will?

Nicole can be reached by email at nschmidt@servenext.org or by phone at 567-224-7113.

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, Millennial Generation | Leave a Comment »

Talking AmeriCorps with Congressman Norm Dicks and Rick Larsen

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on August 31, 2012

Post by Carol Farer, ServeNext Organizer for Washington

On August 22nd City Club of Tacoma, a local civics organization, honored Congressman Norm Dicks for his many years of service and the contributions he has made to the 6th Congressional District. Many local leaders, elected officials, and civic activists filled the room to hear some of the stories that showcased his long career in government service. He is considered our third Senator, because his interests and backing of projects and initiatives span the entire state, not just his district. Congressman Dicks, known to most as Norm, is retiring this year and leaving a large leadership vacuum. Congressman Norm Dicks and I

I approached the Congressman this festive night to congratulate him and talk about his support for national service. He recognized me as representing AmeriCorps, and immediately began to talk about how he is a big longtime supporter. He thinks AmeriCorps is a great concept and ought to be preserved, especially at a time when the country needs a lot of help to address critical problems. He mentioned, with pride, that his daughter-in-law was an AmeriCorps alum.

As ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Dicks said he was concerned about the funding being cut and was working with Senator Murray, who is on the Senate Appropriations Committee, to restore funding. He urged that we all needed to work together to get it restored. Because of his can-do attitude and long legacy of achievements, I said we considered him a champion in the cause to save and grow service. I mentioned that stakeholders from his District wanted to meet with him to discuss how we could best support his efforts to champion national service. He agreed and also suggested that constituents in the 8th and 3rd Congressional Districts should be talking with Cong. Reichert and Herrera-Buetler about the value of AmeriCorps and the impact to their communities, if the funding were to be cut or eliminated. He felt they might be responsive if enough constituents made their voices heard.

Congressman Rick Larsen and IIntroducing Cong. Dicks at this event was Cong. Rick Larsen, from the 2nd Congressional District. Cong. Larsen also expressed his support for national service and said there were major problems with the lack of funding for it in the House budget. When asked what constituents could do about this, he replied that he always wanted to hear from his constituents about their issues and concerns, as do all congressional members.

So the message I keep hearing from these Members of Congress is that we need to let Congress know how important AmeriCorps is to our communities, and to stay vigilant in raising our voices to save and grow national service.

Carol can be reached by email at cfarer@servenext.org

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Showing Rep. Reichert (R-WA) the Impact of National Service

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on August 28, 2012

Post by Carol Farer, ServeNext Organizer for Washington

On August 16th, the United Way of King County organized a site visit for Congressman Dave Reichert who represents Washington’s 8th Congressional District. The visit was held at the Eastside Terrace Bellevue Boys & Girls Club which is located on King County Housing Authority property. With the help of AmeriCorps VISTA members, United Way provides a feeding program at this site, among other locations, and the Housing Authority also utilizes AmeriCorps members at various sites. Rep. Reichart Site Visit

The visit was a tremendous success. Representatives from United Way, King County Housing Authority, Bellevue Boys & Girls Club, ServeNext/ServiceNation (that would be me!), and the AmeriCorps VISTA’s who were serving in the Ending Homelessness Program all spoke about the impact national service had on their organizations, the communities they serve, and their own lives.

Congressman Reichert was very engaged and showed a deep interest in hearing from his constituents about the value and impact of national service in Washington. He asked relevant questions, made jokes, and told stories from his own life. He talked about experiencing the shame of poverty as a child, engaging youth and communities when he was a Sheriff, and how participating in community service as a young person can lead to a career in public service.

I was able to give the Congressman information about the national service activities in his District, including reading assistance and mentoring with youth and Senior Corps programs. Currently there are tragic wild fires raging in the newer parts of his District and we notified him about the AmeriCorps members, working through our Conservation Corps, who are assisting fire fighters in setting up base camp. In addition, we talked about how AmeriCorps members have assisted with other fires, a flood, winter storm hazard clean up, and a mountain rescue mission in his District, all within the past year.

Congressman Reichert commended the agencies for their good work and the VISTA members for their commitment to service. He spoke about the difficult economic times we are in and our challenges with the Federal budget process. But before he left, he gave us some great advice. The Congressman admonished us to fight for the programs we care about, because once they are gone, they do not come back.

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AmeriCorps Impact Shared with Rep. Rehberg in Montana

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on August 24, 2012

Post by Heather Margolis, ServeNext Organizer for Montana

Last Friday, several of us in Montana gathered at Great Falls College to see and hear from Senator John McCain – former Presidential Candidate, Navy Airman, POW, War Hero and champion for National Service. The Senator was the guest of Montana Congressman Danny Rehberg and had been invited to discuss Veterans issues and Sequestration. Of the two men, the former is a national service champion who has proposed expanding opportunities to serve in AmeriCorps while the latter has proposed AmeriCorps’ elimination. Justin meets Sen. McCain

Being at this town hall with fellow AmeriCorps alums Christina Barsky and Justin Isom, who is also a veteran, gave me hope that Congressman Rehberg would hear just how powerful an impact AmeriCorps has on Montana. Through hearing this, we then hoped he would restore the funding for AmeriCorps currently missing in his budget. If Congressman Rehberg could just hear Justin’s story, as a Veteran of the Marines and an AmeriCorps alumnus, we hoped the Congressman might better understand the value national service brings to our state.

Justin had serious challenges re-integrating into civilian life. But by finding AmeriCorps, Justin was able serve his country again, only this time at home in Montana. With his personal experience as a marine he helped establish the Veterans Center at Great Falls College of Technology in partnership with T.C. Knutson, a Montana Campus AmeriCorps Team Leader. Justin discovered that being able to continue his service domestically with AmeriCorps gave him purpose and motivation to be more engaged and committed to his own personal and academic success. He said whether is was planting trees, or making sure a fellow veteran was connected to support services they earned, it gave him meaning at a time when he was struggling to find purpose and self worth.

While Justin didn’t get a chance to speak to Congressman Rehberg, he did talk with Senator McCain after the event and thanked him for being a national service supporter and writing an article called Putting the “National” in National Service where he calls for the expansion of opportunities for Americans to serve their country. In addition, he asked Senator McCain to talk with Rep. Rehberg about the value of investing in national service programs like AmeriCorps and McCain said he would.

If I ever forget why I am absolutely committed to expanding national service, I just need to recall Justin’s story. He was able to continue his service to our nation and Montana through AmeriCorps and continues to put the skills and leadership he learned in the Marines to addressing challenges here in Montana.

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, AmeriCorps | 1 Comment »

 
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