National Service Blog

  • Posted on May 20, 2015

    As one of the first wave of federal Pay for Success (PFS) grantees, Third Sector Capital Partners prides itself on going the extra mile to support programs that help at-risk youth and young adults secure a living wage and the employment skills to gain self-sufficiency.

    With a $1.9 million grant from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) in 2014, the Boston-based advisory firm is strengthening the ability of local governments and service providers to implement PFS, a new way of focusing on outcomes. Under a PFS-financed project, the government leverages philanthropic and private dollars so that government pays only after service providers generate tangible results.

    Through its federal award Third Sector is offering technical assistance to seven subrecipients across workforce development, education and social services, working with these agencies to develop their own capacity to implement PFS.

    But in addition to technical assistance, Third Sector is taking innovative steps to promote success of these efforts. Unique among the 2014 SIF PFS grantees, Third Sector is requiring subrecipients to provide matching funds so that these agencies also have a stake in developing effective pay-for-performance models.

    “It’s important for these agencies to have skin in the game,” said Tim Pennell, Third Sector associate director. The cash match may be small – a minimum of $25,000 – but it provides ample evidence of the organization’s commitment to the PFS concept.

    “It means they are putting...

  • Posted on Mar 24, 2014
    By Dana Forde

     

    As an outreach and communications coordinator with Student Veterans of America, Wright connects nearly 1,000 veterans-focused student organizations across the country to grant and funding sources. This effort ultimately helps strengthen these organizations so they can serve more former service members.
  • Posted on Mar 21, 2014
    By Herbert E. Jackson Jr.

     

    I was on active duty in the U.S. Air Force and had just been assigned to Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado when the tragic events of Sept 11th unfolded. Rumor was that President Bush would fly onboard Air Force One to Colorado Springs and command from inside the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. Although that did not occur, I felt honored to serve America then and continue to be honored to this day. Today, I proudly serve the citizens of Birmingham, Alabama, as a “Building Communities, Bettering Lives” AmeriCorps member assigned to a nonprofit called Workshops, Inc.
  • Posted on Mar 20, 2014
    By Kate Raftery

     

    Just two years ago FEMA and the Corporation for National and Community Service’s AmeriCorps NCCC program launched a unique program called FEMA Corps. FEMA Corps provides Americans, age 18-24, with an opportunity to help people recover from disasters. When disaster strikes, FEMA Corps members are on the ground, working hand-in-hand with FEMA to coordinate disaster response.
  • Posted on Mar 19, 2014
    By CNCS Staff

     

    The national service community has much to be proud of when it comes to protecting our outdoors. Among many actions, we restore public lands and preserve parks across in communities across the country. Yesterday this work was front and center at the White House, where a Champions of Change program celebrated local leaders who are working to get young people to learn, play, serve, and work outdoors.
  • Posted on Mar 14, 2014
    By Debra Eschmeyer

     

    In the spring of 2009, the seeds of our organization—and the seeds for a healthy future— were planted by two important White House initiatives. That March, shovels dug in to break ground on the White House Kitchen Garden, and a few weeks later, President Obama signed the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act into law. Motivated to reverse the startling trend in childhood obesity and usher in a new era of service, FoodCorps' founding team was inspired by these two events and saw in them an opportunity to engage AmeriCorps in building a more sustainable, healthful and equitable food system.
  • Posted on Mar 14, 2014
    By Myeasha Taylor

     

    The future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands dirty. Once you have real, it’s hard to go back to fake. All around the nation, small farms, edible schoolyards, farmers markets and gardens are popping up. People are eating food that did not travel miles and miles away but food grown right down the street or at least 20 miles from their homes. Some places bring real food right to your community like Real Food Farm, a project of Civic Works Inc., an organic and sustainable farm in the heart of Baltimore, MD.
  • Posted on Mar 12, 2014
    By Allison Forrer

     

    Before the start of each Cooking Matters class, AmeriCorps member Veronica Palladino has to make sure she has all of her people and supplies prepped and ready to go. She is responsible for recruiting enough volunteers for each class, training the volunteers, and coordinating with the site to make sure they are ready for the course. She also must have enough groceries and equipment to make the recipes for the day.
  • Posted on Mar 7, 2014
    By Jason Patnosh and Anastasia Romanova

     

    Good health is something many of us take for granted, until we get sick. Only then are we reminded of everything it takes to get healthy again. But what if those things were out of reach? Fifty million Americans don’t have access to basic healthcare or know how to get it, a driving force behind why Community HealthCorps, an AmeriCorps program, continues to grow after nearly 20 years of service.
  • Posted on Mar 7, 2014
    By Gail Boe

     

    Home to the Osage Nation, with the entire county residing within the boundaries of the Osage Reservation, Osage County, OK, consists of more than 2, 251 square miles of land mass and 53 square miles of water -- an area larger than either Rhode Island or Delaware. Unfortunately, even with all this land mass, we live in an area that is designated as a “super food desert.”
  • Posted on Mar 6, 2014
    By Paul Caccamo

     

    For too many years we have addressed the equation of “fit body and fit minds” as requiring two separate interventions. For the mind, we’ve looked toward mentoring. For the body, we’ve turned to physical activity and health education. But our AmeriCorps investment proves that a national service member can be the catalyst to fit bodies and fit minds. Our formula has been to train our AmeriCorps members on how to use the power of coaching to build relationships with at-risk youth that inspire their healthy futures.

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