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Archive for the ‘AmeriCorps’ Category

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 »

Summer of Service Part II

Posted by Morgan St. Jean on July 19, 2012

To help demonstrate the impact service and service members have, ServiceNation’s ServceNext Initiative has launched ‘Stories of Service,’ a summer-long series that will capture first-person accounts from service members currently deployed across the country.

In the series’ second post, Shayla Price talks about what she has learned about hunger in America while serving as a summer AmeriCorps VISTA member. If you missed it,  be sure to check out Shayla’s first post about why she wanted to spend her summer serving. 

As a summer AmeriCorps VISTA, I am on the front lines of a very important issue in America—childhood hunger. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), over 16 million children lived in food insecure households in 2010. With 1 in 5 children not receiving enough nutritious food on a regular basis, we must work together to end childhood hunger.

During my service, I have learned that hunger impairs children’s health significantly. Research shows that kids experiencing hunger are more inclined to get headaches, stomachaches, and colds. As they grow older, the children may even encounter harmful health consequences from obesity.

Moreover, hunger can hinder a child’s ability to learn and perform academically. A kid will not be able to concentrate and perform well in school.

The summer months can be a difficult time. Though more than 21 million American kids get free or reduced-price school lunch, only 3 million of those kids get a free summer meal. That’s why I believe my commitment to serve is necessary to help improve kids’ access to healthy food.

Feeding America is helping lead the way to meet the nutritional needs of children during the summer. With assistance from food banks across the country, Summer Food Programs provide nutritious meals and snacks to food insecure youth. The programs are typically reimbursed through the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

SFSP is designed to fill that nutrition gap, making sure children receive the healthy meals they need. To find meals in your community, call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY. You will receive information on where kids can find summer sites in your area.

By serving with VISTA, I am directly helping with Kids Café, one of the summer food programs. This initiative provides free meals and snacks to low-income children through a variety of community locations such as Boys and Girls Clubs, churches, and public schools. Some Kids Cafés programs even offer educational, recreational, and social activities, providing a safe place.

In Kansas City, the food bank Harvesters is partnering with agencies to offer 53 Kids Cafés across 26 counties in Missouri and Kansas. Children receive a free, wholesome meal and nutrition education at various sites, like community centers and low-income housing complexes.

As a VISTA member at Harvesters, I perform site monitoring and compliance inspections for Kids Cafés. For example, I verify that participating sites have adequate storage and refrigeration to keep meals, appropriate space to serve meals, and staff to administer the food. The VISTA team also monitors the sites for proper sanitation and recordkeeping.

I enjoy visiting Kids Cafés! The children are always eager to learn the day’s lunch menu. My site inspections play a vital role in guaranteeing that kids receive a healthy, free meal. With my passion and hard work, my AmeriCorps service is ensuring that hunger is not part of a kid’s summer vacation plans. Through VISTA, I have learned how one person can contribute to bringing individuals and communities out of poverty.

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign understands the importance of connecting kids to meals. The organization is traveling across the country to increase participation in the summer meals program, ensuring that no child goes hungry when school is out.

Let’s end childhood hunger together! Give money. Give time. Give food. Find out how you can help your community. Contact your local food bank by visiting feedingamerica.org.

Shayla Price at the beginning of her summer of service  

About Shayla

R. Price is an attorney and an advocate for ending childhood hunger. She has promoted community service as a governor-appointed commissioner for Volunteer Louisiana. Prior to government service, Price worked as a marketing director for ProgressiveU.org, a social welfare organization that sought to give high school and college students a voice.

While in high school, she earned more than $100,000 in college scholarships. She authored the book titled “The Scholarship Search: A Guide to Winning Free Money for College and More.” She has been featured in several publications, including “Better Homes & Gardens,” “Seventeen,” and “Black Enterprise.” Price was also named one of EBONY magazine’s 2009 Young Leaders and received the first-ever Emerging Greatness Award.

Posted in AmeriCorps, National Service, service, Stories Of Service | 3 Comments »

Summer of Service – Part I.

Posted by Morgan St. Jean on July 9, 2012

Shayla Price at the start of her summer of service

What does one think of when they think of a national service member?  The ideas are endless, which at once is both an advantage and challenge.  On the plus side, national service has been used to aid communities, states, and our nation in great times of need.  The downside is that there is not a singular definition or example that embodies the impact national service makes in our country every day.  To help demonstrate the impact service and service members have, ServiceNation’s ServceNext Initiative has launched ‘Stories of Service,’ a summer-long series that will capture first-person accounts from service members currently deployed across the country.

Our inaugural post in this series is from Shayla Price, an extraordinary woman who has devoted her life to service. She is serving for 8 weeks as an AmeriCorps VISTA member fighting poverty.

Summer of Service – Part I.

Guest post by Shayla R. Price

Service is an integral part of who I am. Through community service, I have had the opportunity to tutor kids, clean up parks, and raise money for great nonprofits.

As a commissioner for Volunteer Louisiana, a policy-making body for national service efforts in the state, I help distribute funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service to organizations and schools that make a substantial commitment to service. For the past three years on the board, I have heard countless positive, impactful stories from AmeriCorps members.

Those service experiences inspired me. That’s why I decided to join the front lines in the fight against poverty in America. Right now, I am officially an AmeriCorps VISTA! For a total of eight weeks, I will be serving at Harvesters, a food bank in Kansas City, Missouri.

Last week, my summer of service kicked off with great success. Alongside eight other VISTA members, I will be improving the lives of area residents by increasing their access to good, nutritious food.

Hunger is a real issue. In Harvesters’ 26-county direct service area, more than 375,000 people are food insecure.  Furthermore, 125,000 children lack access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle. Learn about hunger facts in your area by visiting Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap.

During training, I learned that Harvesters has a network of more than 620 nonprofit agencies. Their network includes emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters. The food bank provides assistance to more than 66,000 different people each week.

Feeding More. Feeding Better. Through Harvesters’ Agency University, the food bank equips its agencies with the necessary resources to feed its clients. Organizations do not pay for the food products. One of my duties will be to monitor these agencies through site inspections. The main purpose of monitoring is to ensure every agency is in compliance with the rules.

In my first week, I had the opportunity to observe the monitoring of a Kids Café, a program that provides free meals and snacks to low-income children. I learned about the USDA’s food safety rules, child nutrition labels, and civil rights compliance.

In addition, I participated in SNAP (food stamps program) outreach at a mobile food pantry. During the site visit, my fellow service members and I handed out brochures explaining SNAP eligibility requirements and benefits. We also helped the community members bag green beans and nectarines for distribution to the long lines of parents, kids, and senior citizens.

I am looking forward to building systems and creating solutions to fight hunger. With a great team of diverse individuals, I am ready to teach kids about nutrition, distribute food to seniors, and conduct SNAP outreach.  I truly believe in Harvesters’ mission—feed hungry people today and work to end hunger tomorrow.

About Shayla

Shayla R. Price is an attorney and an advocate for ending childhood hunger. She has promoted community service as a governor-appointed commissioner for Volunteer Louisiana. Prior to government service, Price worked as a marketing director for ProgressiveU.org, a social welfare organization that sought to give high school and college students a voice.

While in high school, she earned more than $100,000 in college scholarships. She authored the book titled “The Scholarship Search: A Guide to Winning Free Money for College and More.” She has been featured in several publications, including “Better Homes & Gardens,” “Seventeen,” and “Black Enterprise.” Price was also named one of EBONY magazine’s 2009 Young Leaders and received the first-ever Emerging Greatness Award.

Posted in AmeriCorps, Corporation for National and Community Service, Millennial Generation, National Service, service, Stories Of Service, Volunteerism | 1 Comment »

Legislative Update: National Service Lives to Fight Another Day

Posted by Zach Maurin on June 14, 2012

The Save Service Campaign sent an email this week with a HUGE positive step for national service (relative, of course, to the current political climate!).  Keep reading for specific numbers from the Senate from our friends at Voices for National Service.

On Tuesday, Senator Tom Harkin delivered exciting news to the national service community: the Appropriations Committee that he chairs approved a 2013 budget that includes $1.06 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) largely meeting President Obama’s budget request for AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and other key service initiatives. In today’s tight fiscal environment, meeting the President’s request is a tremendous win for national service.

Help us express our #saveservice gratitude by thanking @SenatorHarkin for his support of vital national service programs across the country. Tell him his action has made it possible for more to serve and more to benefit from the work these organizations do in our communities.

As always, the fight does not end here. The funding level approved by the Senate Committee is just one piece of the puzzle. The House of Representatives passed a Budget Resolution in March that calls for the elimination of the Corporation for National and Community Service. The difference between the House ($0) and Senate ($1.06 billion) is significant. If we want Congress to ultimately approve the Senate’s high water mark, we need to put steady and consistent pressure on our legislators, urging them to take a stand for national service at a time when service organizations are more relied upon than ever.

Today, we celebrate Senator Harkin and the funding levels approved by the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee.  Tomorrow, we prepare to put the pressure back on.

Thank you for your continued hard work to save service.

In Service,
AnnMaura Connolly
President, Voices for National Service

Our friends at Voices for National Service put out a statement with more specifics for those interested in specific dollars figures:

On Tuesday afternoon, under the leadership of Senator Tom Harkin, the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee approved a fiscal year 2013 funding bill that includes $1.06 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). This is the same level recommended by President Obama and represents at 1% increase over last year’s levels.

While more detail is expected to be released on Thursday after the Senate Appropriations Committee votes on the spending package, we know that the Subcommittee approved the following for the CNCS programmatic accounts:

  • AmeriCorps State and National: $346.4 million (will support 74,000 AmeriCorps members and includes funding to increase the number of national service participants with disabilities)
  • VISTA: $95.3 million (will support 7,400 AmeriCorps*VISTA members)
  • NCCC: $30.7 million (will support 1,200 AmeriCorps*NCCC members)
  • National Service Trust: $208.7 million (will fund Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for eligible AmeriCorps members who complete their terms of service)
  • RSVP: $51.2 million (includes $1 million for technical assistance)
  • Foster Grandparents (FGP): $110.6 million (sustains the FGP program at FY12 levels)
  • Senior Companions (SCP): $46.7 million (sustains the SCP program at FY12 levels)
  • Innovation, Assistance and Other Activities: $54.2 million
  • State Service Commissions Administration Grants: $19.99 million (The Senate has recommended the consolidation of two accounts – State Commission Grants and Training and Technical Assistance.)

While it is important to note that these numbers don’t restore the 8% cut in funding that CNCS has sustained over the last two fiscal years, or reinstate Learn & Serve America, in today’s tight fiscal environment, this is a tremendous win for national service. As always, the fight does not end here. This Senate number is just one piece of the puzzle. The House wants much deeper cuts and their budget framework, which passed in March, assumes the elimination of the Corporation for National and Community Service. The House and Senate are clearly heading towards a budget battle later this year.

This is why your participation in Voices for National Service’s upcoming Capitol Hill Day on July 11th is so important. We will explain to our legislators how national service organizations create jobs, leverage nearly $1 billion annually in private and philanthropic dollars, and deliver critical services in local communities nationwide. Join us and tell your story to those who hold the future of national service in their hands. Hill Day registration will close on June 25th.

Today, we celebrate the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee’s high water mark for service funding. Tomorrow, we prepare to put the pressure back on.

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, AmeriCorps | 1 Comment »

Everyday Advocacy

Posted by Morgan St. Jean on May 24, 2012

Guest post by Amanda Lukas, a ServeNext District Captain.  Amanda is going into her senior year at University of Louisville in Kentucky. She is an alum of Bonner AmeriCorps program, which is a part time program for college students. 

Amanda Lukas with Michael Biagi of Senator McConnell’s office

When ServeNext asked me to lead two meetings with my Members of Congress as part of Save Service District Days, I was extremely nervous. My first question was would they even listen to me? As soon as it was discovered that I was a college student, with no real experience in these matters, I was afraid they wouldn’t listen. However, I agreed because I wanted to at least TRY.  So I set up meetings with Congressman Yarmuth and a staff member of Senator McConnell.

The first meeting with Congressman Yarmuth was very successful. He was already a supporter of keeping national service organizations in the budget. When I was doing my research, I began to realize that it wasn’t about convincing him to support us, but to encourage him to continue supporting us. He listened to me and the other two women at the meeting; he listened to our arguments and explained the dilemmas going on in Capitol Hill. He explained the arguments being used by the non-supporters.

There were a few important things that came from the meeting. One, the two women and I who had the meeting with Congressman Yarmuth gave the Congressman faces to associate with the issue; he now had personal testimony to bring back to Capitol Hill. Two, he gave us advice that could help kept national service organizations surviving. Three, he listened to what we had to say, which gave us all confidence that someone with more clout is paying attention to this issue. When we left the meeting, I think we made an impact. Again, it was with only one Congressman who already supported our argument, but it made enough of a difference, because it can take only one small action to make a huge change.

The next meeting I had with the staffer of Senator McConnell was something I walked into much more prepared and confident than I would have if I hadn’t met with Congressman Yarmuth first. I had to speak to the staffer by myself, with no other service supporters in the room. I had my arguments formed and my discussion points planned. It was something I was prepared for.

Again, I was listened to, and it seemed as if the staffer was impressed by how I could articulate my ideas and my arguments. The fact that I was a college student with seemingly little experience with this wasn’t a problem and didn’t hurt my credibility. My efforts made an impact. Maybe it wasn’t a large one, maybe it didn’t change any views, but these two representatives have a face and a name to put on this issue.

I just want to say very clearly what I learned from this- anyone can advocate. Not only that, though, but everyone already advocates every day.

Advocacy is defined as the act of pleading for, supporting, or recommending.  Everyone advocates for something every day. Whether you are yelling at someone who cut the line, trying to talk your professor into giving you that extra point, or going to a rally to support a nominee, everyone advocates on some level every single day. It is part of our nature, isn’t it? If we believe in something, we advocate for it. We make sure the issue, whether it be a personal or political issue, is heard and given attention.

Every time you advocate for something, you make an impact, even if it only affects one person. I am going to keep on advocating for national service as a District Captain because every person counts.

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, AmeriCorps, Corporation for National and Community Service, ServeNext, service | Leave a Comment »

A big THANK YOU to the Members of Congress who stepped up for national service

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on April 13, 2012

Heading into the budget battle for FY 13 Appropriations for National Service, we want to thank the members of Congress who stepped up and added their name to letters of support urging robust funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service.

We hear from many members of Congress that tell us they are supporters of national service but we want to especially thank the members listed below who are leading in Congress to expand opportunities for Americans to serve their country and ensure the promises made in the Serve America Act are kept.

The National Service Caucus received the signatures of 63 members of the House of Representatives and 25 Senators.

  • Click here to read the House National Service Caucus letter
  • Click here to read the Senate National Service Caucus letter


Senate Signatories

  • Sen. Barbara Mikulski (MD)
  • Sen. Chris Coons (DE)
  • Sen. Max Baucus (MT)
  • Sen. Mark Begich (AK)
  • Sen. Jeff Bingaman (NM)
  • Sen. Barbara Boxer (CA)
  • Sen. Ben Cardin (MD)
  • Sen. Robert Casey (PA)
  • Sen. Dick Durbin (IL)
  • Sen. Al Franken (MN)
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
  • Sen. Tim Johnson (SD)
  • Sen. John Kerry (MA)
  • Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA)
  • Sen. Frank Lautenberg (NJ)
  • Sen. Pat Leahy (VT)
  • Sen. Jack Reed (RI)
  • Sen. Jay Rockefeller (WV)
  • Sen. Bernard Sanders (VT)
  • Sen. Charles Schumer (NY)
  • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (NH)
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI)
  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
  • Sen. John Tester (MT)
  • Sen. Tom Udall (NM)

House of Representative Signatories

  • Representative Todd Russell Platts (PA)
  • Representative David Price (NC)
  • Representative Doris Matsui (CA)
  • Representative Frederica Wilson (FL)
  • Representative Allyson Schwartz (PA)
  • Representative Henry Waxman (CA)
  • Representative Joe Courtney (CT)
  • Representative Gwen Moore (WI)
  • Representative William R. Keating (MA)
  • Representative Stephen Lynch (MA)
  • Representative Chellie Pingree (ME)
  • Representative Bruce Braley (IA)
  • Representative John Lewis (GA)
  • Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)
  • Representative Chris Van Hollen (MD)
  • Representative Mazie K. Hirono (HI)
  • Representative John Sarbanes (MD)
  • Representative Shelley Berkley (NV)
  • Representative Leonard L. Boswell (IA)
  • Representative Rush D. Holt (NJ)
  • Representative Zoe Lofgren (CA)
  • Representative David Cicilline (RI)
  • Representative Charles B. Rangel (NY)
  • Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL)
  • Representative Danny K. Davis (IL)
  • Representative David Loebsack (IA)
  • Representative Henry C. Johnson (GA)
  • Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR)
  • Representative Emanuel Cleaver (MO)
  • Representative John F. Tierney (MA)
  • Representative Raul M. Grijalva (AZ)
  • Representative Michael Michaud (ME)
  • Representative Carolyn McCarthy (NY)
  • Representative Louise M. Slaughter (NY)
  • Representative Nich J. Rahall II (WV)
  • Representative Larry Kissell (NC)
  • Representative Russ Carnahan (MO)
  • Representative Lloyd Doggett (TX)
  • Representative Mike Ross (AR)
  • Representative Andre Carson (IN)
  • Representative John Yarmuth (KY)
  • Representative Jerrold Nadler (NY)
  • Representative George Miller (CA)
  • Representative Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (CNMI)
  • Representative Silvestre Reyes (TX)
  • Representative Lois Capps (CA)
  • Representative Edolphus Towns (NY)
  • Representative Gregory W. Meeks (NY)
  • Representative Lynn Woolsey (CA)
  • Representative Barbara Lee (CA)
  • Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (NY)
  • Representative Suzanne Bonamici (OR)
  • Representative John Conyers, Jr. (MI)
  • Representative Bob Filner (CA)
  • Representative Michael F. Doyle (PA)
  • Representative Hansen Clarke (MI)
  • Representative Karen Bass (CA)
  • Representative Martin Heinrich (NM)
  • Representative Chaka Fattah (PA)

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, AmeriCorps, Corporation for National and Community Service, Serve America Act | Leave a Comment »

From AmeriCorps Member to National Service Advocate

Posted by Morgan St. Jean on March 22, 2012

Katherine Jones with Sen. Blumenthal

Katherine with Senator Blumenthal

This post was written by ServeNext Organizer Katherine Jones 

My experience as a ServeNext Organizer empowered me to realize that I have a voice and can make a difference. Before my involvement with ServeNext, I wanted to be an advocate for national service, but I didn’t know where to turn or how to start. I felt like I was one of many in the community and that my voice would not be effective in making change. But throughout this year I gained valuable skills and I know now that I can use my voice for any issue that interests me.

I joined ServeNext right after finishing my year of service with AmeriCorps. I knew I wanted to continue being involved in the national service community and to also explore my interest in advocacy. ServeNext gave me the perfect opportunity to combine my passions and further my career at the same time.Through my work as an Organizer, I gained the experience and national network of contacts to make myself a sought-after commodity. The skills needed to be an Organizer are in demand, and it’s no wonder considering how much I’ve been able to accomplish during my time at ServeNext.

The skills I gained through ServeNext are already starting to pay off. I am going back to graduate school and applied for a competitive internship this summer. I was hired for the position and told that I was chosen over other candidates because of my experience with ServeNext.

I am especially proud of the meetings I was able to set up with Congresswoman Rosa Delauro of Connecticut and Congressman Frank Guinta of New Hampshire. Both meetings were very gratifying, but the meeting with Congressman Gunita was most inspirational because we changed his opinionof the value for service in New Hampshire. We were able to put service on the Congressman’s agenda and hopefully it will make a difference in the future when he thinks about cutting funding to national service programs.

The Organizer program is incredibly valuable to communities because the position works to unite the community. In New Hampshire, there were a variety of service professionals that wanted to get involved in advocacy efforts, but, similar to my experience, were unsure of what to do.  As an Organizer, I was able to collaborate with service professionals and work with them on developing ideas and strategies for advocating in their state.

As my term ends with ServeNext, I know that my time spent in New Hampshire ignited a fire that was waiting to be lit in members of the local community where I served and I know that they will continue to make a difference after I have left.

I encourage others who have a passion for national service advocacy to apply to be a ServeNext Organizer. The deadline is April 6 and you can apply online at www.servenext.org/2012.

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, AmeriCorps, Corporation for National and Community Service, Jobs/Internships, National Service, ServeNext, service, Stories Of Service | 4 Comments »

Be a Part of Something Big – at a Critical Moment

Posted by Zach Maurin on March 6, 2012

ServeNext started the year with two huge announcements.  First, that we’ve merged with ServiceNation.

And last week, that we’re hiring a team full-time field organizers dedicated to fighting for national service programs in politics. The first time in history such a team will exist.

I want to provide some historical context about why this is so exciting and why applying to be one of the first full-time field organizers is a unique opportunity.The eight leaders selected will build on the tremendous work of our last two teams of part-time organizers.

I believe that the next five years is a defining moment for AmeriCorps and the entire concept of national service: will it grow to meet pressing needs or will the cuts continue?

Some will say this isn’t a fair choice because we’re in a tough, recovering economy.  But it’s precisely for that reason – and the increase in social problems as a result – that make this a fair choice.

Tough times can actually accelerate the growth of programs, ideas, and investments because of urgency, the will to act, and the need for solutions.  The question then is will the national service field do enough to win the moment and position itself as one of the top solutions that we know it is.

The answer could define the field for a long time. If we’re unsuccessful at this challenge, then AmeriCorps and other service programs are seen as “nice but not necessary.” If during one of America’s most trying periods national service is seen on the periphery and not a national priority, how can we make the case moving forward that it’s critical?

But at ServeNext we believe that AmeriCorps and other service programs are essential for the nation’s recovery and ability to rebuild.

The challenge is building enough public will to generate the political will in support of this belief. It won’t be easy. It requires that we overcome hyper-partisanship and the spending cuts that Congress has to make.

But doing so is not just about winning a budget battle this year or next (though that’s critical!). It’s about the role of national service in this country moving forward and cementing it as one of the nation’s go-to solutions for pressing challenges.

The idea that 80,000 annual AmeriCorps positions should be 250,000 and eventually a million. The idea of enrolling far more Baby Boomers with time and talents into Senior Corps and Experience Corps. The idea of returning Veterans continuing their service in national service positions as tremendous leaders that our communities need.

These are powerful ideas and we know they work. However, we need to relentlessly educate those in Congress to understand this too – and then relentlessly hold them accountable to support this vision.

The first team of full-time field organizers – called ServeNext Organizers – will be essential in making progress towards this vision at a time when both the present and the future of national service is at stake.

Learn more, apply, or nominate someone today: www.servenext.org/2012

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, AmeriCorps, Jobs/Internships, National Service | Leave a Comment »

Big News: Hiring Nationwide to Expand Service

Posted by Morgan St. Jean on March 1, 2012

I’m thrilled to announce a major milestone for ServeNext – and even make a little history. 

We’re hiring a team of full-time ServeNext Organizers around the country.

This is a first for the national service movement and one of the exciting benefits of our merger with ServiceNation.  The timing could not be more critical.  The political climate is getting tougher because members of Congress have to make even more spending cuts.

You know that national service is one of the best investments around and deeply needed.  It’s time to get AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and the entire Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) growing again!

We’re looking nationwide for leaders who are deeply passionate about national service and will relentlessly advocate on its behalf.

Can you help us find the best candidates?

We will select eight Organizers to work from June – December in their communities.  The application deadline is April 6.  We’ll be reviewing them on a rolling basis and encourage potential applicants to apply early. For more information visit:www.servenext.org/2012.

The 2012 field team will build on the tremendous impact of you, our current team of part-time Organizers, Voices for National Service, and tens of thousands more who fought back threats of elimination last year.  They will collaborate with these groups and others going forward to build the strongest voice yet for national service.

Help us spread the word loud and far. Tweetshare on Facebook, forward this email, or use a carrier pigeon — however you can best share this exciting opportunity.

Let us know if you need anything.  And thanks for your help,

Zach, Jerry, Morgan and the entire ServeNext + ServiceNation team

PS – Do you work at a national service organization with a newsletter or blog, know any good job boards, or have other ways to spread the word? Here’s a short description you can post:

ServeNext is looking nationwide for outstanding leaders who are deeply passionate about national service and ready to advocate relentlessly on its behalf.  The eight selected will work from June – December in their communities. We’re reviewing applications on a rolling basis with an April 6 deadline. To apply, learn more, or nominate an outstanding leader, visit www.servenext.org/2012

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, AmeriCorps, Jobs/Internships, National Service, ServeNext, service | 1 Comment »

AmeriCorps Week 2012 – Save AmeriCorps Strategy Sessions in Columbus, Chicago, Miami, Helena, and Rochester

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on March 1, 2012

ImageFor AmeriCorps Week 2012, ServeNext is partnering with AmeriCorps Alums and other local service organizations to co-host Save AmeriCorps Strategy Sessions. With so much at stake for AmeriCorps and all national service programs in FY13, each ServeNext network welcomes every service supporter and organization that utilizes AmeriCorps to discuss how they can best work together locally to showcase the value and impact AmeriCorps provides to their community and win support for AmeriCorps.

Central Ohio Save AmeriCorps Strategy Session

Hosted by:
ServeNext Columbus, HandsOn Cenral Ohio, and the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Food Banks
Location: HandsOn Central Ohio, 195 North Grant Avenue, Columbus, OH  43215
Date:
Monday, March 12th, 2012
Time: 6:00PM – 7:30PM
Event Contact: Rachel Diskin, rdiskin@servenext.org
R.S.V.P. online at: servenext.org/networks/columbusstrategysession


Chicago – AmeriCorps Works Leadership Forum

Hosted by: AmeriCorps Alums Chicago and ServeNext Chicago
Location: National Louis University, 122 S Michigan Avenue, 2nd Floor Atrium, Chicago, IL 60603
Date:
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Event Contact: cclosser@servenext.org
R.S.V.P online at:
americorpsworks.eventbrite.com/


Miami Save Service Strategy Session


Hosted by:
ServeNext Miami and AmeriCorps Alums Miami
Location: Catalyst Miami (formerly known as the Human Services Coalition), 1900 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 200, Miami, FL 33132
Date:
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
Time: 6:00PM – 8:00PM
Event Contacts: Catherine Houlihan, choulihan@servenext.org; Darrill Gaschler, d.a.gaschler@gmail.com
R.S.V.P online at: servenext.org/networks/miamistrategysession


Montana Save Service Strategy Session


Hosted by:
Montana AmeriCorps Alums and ServeNext Montana
Location: Montana Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center, 2668 Broadwater Ave, Helena, MT 59602
Date:
Thursday, March 15th, 2012
Time: 6:00PM – 8:00PM
Event Contact: Heather Margolis, hmargolis@servenext.org
R.S.V.P. online at: servenext.org/networks/montanastrategysession


Rochester Save AmeriCorps Strategy Session


Hosted by:
ServeNext Rochester and AmeriCorps Alums Rochester
Location: Tango Cafe, 389 Gregory St, Rochester NY 14620
Date: Friday, March 16th, 2012
Time: 5:30PM – 7:00PM
Event Contact: Stephanie Sacco, ssacco@servenext.org
R.S.V.P. online at: servenext.org/networks/rochesterstrategysession

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, AmeriCorps, ServeNext | Leave a Comment »

 
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