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We are the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that helps more than 5 million Americans improve the lives of their fellow citizens through service. Working hand in hand with local partners, we tap the ingenuity and can-do spirit of the American people to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing our nation.

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From Our Blog





National Military Appreciation Month: Meet the veterans that are healing the Earth

Matt West is a U.S. Navy veteran who, last December, completed his second full-time term in VetsWork: Environment, a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) program which supports career development for veterans seeking a civilian career in natural resources/public lands management.  

Matt served with the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA), where he engaged other veterans in service opportunities that restore the natural environment of the South Puget Sound/Joint Base Lewis McCord Area.  Matt designed an internship program for veterans with a community partner, the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) that has helped over 25 veterans develop job skills in the environmental restoration sector. His program has doubled in size in its second year.

Matt is passionate about helping other veterans connect with the natural world.  He believes there is a mutual benefit when working on restoration projects.  Obviously the land reaps the benefits of people working to improve the sustainability of our resources.  Equally important for Matt, though, are the personal and potentially therapeutic impacts for members.  Matt describes it this way, “By offering veterans a chance to heal the Earth I have witnessed incredible transitions of incredible people doing incredible work.”

May 26, 2016
National Military Appreciation Month: Meet the veterans that are healing the Earth

Matt West is a U.S. Navy veteran who, last December, completed his second full-time term in VetsWork: Environment...





Matt West is a U.S. Navy veteran who, last December, completed his second full-time term in VetsWork: Environment, a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) program which supports career development for veterans seeking a civilian career in natural resources/public lands management.  

Matt served with the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA), where he engaged other veterans in service opportunities that restore the natural environment of the South Puget Sound/Joint Base Lewis McCord Area.  Matt designed an internship program for veterans with a community partner, the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) that has helped over 25 veterans develop job skills in the environmental restoration sector. His program has doubled in size in its second year.

Matt is passionate about helping other veterans connect with the natural world.  He believes there is a mutual benefit when working on restoration projects.  Obviously the land reaps the benefits of people working to improve the sustainability of our resources.  Equally important for Matt, though, are the personal and potentially therapeutic impacts for members.  Matt describes it this way, “By offering veterans a chance to heal the Earth I have witnessed incredible transitions of incredible people doing incredible work.”

May 26, 2016
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Mike Sullivan wasn’t sure what to expect when he emerged from his basement on May 22, 2011. Underground, all he and his two roommates could do was listen and wonder if the noises that they were hearing were really of a tornado. Above ground, a neighbor explained he had only heard “that noise” once before – during the deadly 1966 tornado in Topeka, Kansas.

As a Kansas native born 30 years after that tornado, Mike was new to “that noise.” He moved to Joplin in 2007 as a Missouri Southern State University student because of their famous Drumline team, but had since become part of this tight-knit community. Now, they marched through their neighborhood unsure exactly where they were. Street signs, landmarks – all gone, removing anything familiar from their view.

What would become familiar in the weeks and months and years to follow was the St. Bernard Project (SBP). Shortly after the storm, Rebuild Joplin opened its doors, staffed by AmeriCorps members serving with SBP. “The amazing work that they did in my community was incredible,” Mike said. But it would be two hears before he had a personal interaction with them.

May 26, 2016

By Agnes Chavez

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I am in my second year serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member, with a mission to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. We make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. I am also part of a growing demographic of ‘older adults’ serving within AmeriCorps VISTA. Add to the mix that I am also an artist contributing a unique skill set that is not normally associated with AmeriCorps VISTA service and you might be asking, so how is that working out?

Why the Arts?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2018 New Mexico will need to fill 53,000 STEM-related jobs. To address this, STEM to STEAM is an initiative to add art and design to the agenda of STEM education and research in America. A recent rewrite of the nation’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) legislation will now integrate the arts into STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math). According to the latest research, for students to be prepared and job ready in the new economy, creativity and innovation are just as essential as reading and math.

How I got involved

May 26, 2016

By Tom Ferraro

Tom Ferraro, an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving in Maryland

DAVIDSONVILLE, Md. – Starting to feel old and bored, I needed a new adventure. So at 67, I enlisted in the “war on poverty” by joining AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), whose ranks are dominated by recent college graduates.

I graduated from college in the 1970s, long before laptops, iPhones or the formalization of “a gap year” for young adults to find themselves. After a 45-year career as a news reporter, I suddenly found myself retired. I played tennis three times a week, went to senior-discounted movies and took daily walks with my dog, Milo.

Wanting a more rewarding activity, and figuring it was time to give back, I remembered VISTA, the “domestic Peace Corps,” created a half century ago by President Lyndon Johnson as part of his “War on Poverty.”

I applied, was accepted, and went to a week of training. On the final day, I stood with my young classmates, raised my right hand and was sworn in.

I got assigned to do my year of service at Building Families for Children, a century-old nonprofit headquartered in Columbia, Md., and dedicated to giving at risk-children and parents a fresh start.

From the first week, I’ve been asked, “How do you like your job?” It’s a difficult question to answer.

May 24, 2016

From Our CEO | Wendy Spencer

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By John J Lira, Veterans and Military Families Program Officer The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the National Veterans...

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