ServeNext.org Blog

My Op-Ed

Posted by Zach Maurin on May 8, 2009

I wanted to share with you a piece that was recently published in my local newspaper.  I was able to call my community to serve under the newly signed Serve America Act.  I tried to scan in a copy of the article, but it was unsuccessful.  So I have copied the text of the piece in this entry.  I hope you all enjoy it!

A New Era of Service

       As an undergraduate student at the George Washington University in Washington, DC, I have one fear about my future: not finding a job after graduation.  Even being in big city with a college degree, securing a job in this economy is not an easy task.
    Fortunately, the White House, Senate, and House recently worked together on bold legislation for national service (called the Serve America Act in the Senate and the GIVE Act in the House). This will give me a brighter outlook toward the day I graduate as a possible route for employment while giving back to my country.  This act encompasses the change President Barack Obama advocated all through his campaign.  After being the only piece of legislation specifically mentioned in his recent speech to a joint session of Congress, it is evident that President Obama demands success on this bipartisan work.
    President Obama will sign the bill into law on the 21st, ensuring that service is never forgotten in this nation.  His personal experience with service as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago is a personal victory for the president
    The change will come in the form of thousands of citizens joining together to improve the nation on numerous facets.  Upon its passage, the legislation will create a Clean Energy Corps, Healthy Futures Corps, Education Corps and Veterans Services Corps. Increases to existing programs such as AmeriCorps, will improve the already standing tradition of service to the country.  These corps call for every citizen to “ask what you can do for your country.”  Additionally, they will offer educational scholarships for those who serve to ensure that our nation is continuing its commitment to higher education.  Paying for any level of schooling has become a primary struggle in this economic crisis and this act will lessen that burden to ensure that all who are willing can enhance their education.
    The nation has an interest in looking out for its citizens in all aspects. This act does that by creating new jobs, increasing new energy sources, and supporting a solid educational base for its citizens.  
    The nation’s future is in the hands of my generation.  This service legislation proves that the United States in invested in protecting and enhancing the future of this generation.  No longer are we waiting for a miracle.  This is our time, and it is our duty to ensure that our future succeeds.
    Graduations are right around the corner and this legislation may be a solution to fearing graduates.  All of the opportunities laid out in the piece embody the profound investment in service the nation needs.  The bill calls America to help itself in this time of economic struggle by creating jobs that will pull the United States into a new age of service and responsibility.  Roosevelt accomplished this with the New Deal and Kennedy inspired the same sentiment; today President Obama wants to see the nation pull itself out of this downturn by starting from the bottom up. 
        No matter where one lives, what one believes, or what side of the aisle one may be on, this act is meant to increase the social investment we have to each other.   Service to the nation is not a partisan issue.  We all want to improve the condition of the United States and we should start by working together.
       I call all Illinois citizens to show your support for this legislation and serve your country in some way.  This could mean volunteering at the hospital down the street or traveling across the country to assist in the rebuilding efforts of North Dakota

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