National Service Blog

  • Posted on Feb 9, 2015

    Most low-income families face a litany of financial and employment challenges, which is why Social Innovation Fund (SIF) intermediary the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is expanding its comprehensive Financial Opportunity Centers and using data to inform these expansion efforts.

    These 75 centers nationwide represent both a workforce-development and asset-building programming model with services such as job readiness, employment training, financial coaching and help in accessing public benefits.

    Through these services, participants can boost monthly net income and obtain critical supports such as health insurance and utility assistance that improve family well-being.

    “Low-income, low-wage jobs are not enough to sustain a family,” said Seung Kim, LISC program director for family income and wealth building. “Our strategy is to empower individuals and families through an intentional, integrated services approach.”

    These integrated services, or “bundled services,” aim to provide individuals with employment counseling, financial coaching, and access to income supports to help boost steady income, reduce expenses, and build credit and wealth. It is a value-added approach that includes a major emphasis on data and evaluation. For example, one key research question is whether participants receiving multiple services show stronger outcomes than those participating in only one or two activities.

    “The data really drive how we understand the program,” Kim said.

    For example, job placement rates are higher for those with greater involvement. Individuals with only basic employment services have a 26 percent...

  • Posted on Feb 16, 2014
    Do you have questions about national service or AmeriCorps, and the services we provide to improve educational outcomes around the nation? Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service will be taking your questions during her next Twitter chat later this week!Join us on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time for a live Twitter Q&A. Here's how it works:
  • Posted on Feb 11, 2014
    By CNCS Staff

     

    As part of the AmeriCorps 20th anniversary, national and local officials visited Stanton Elementary School in Washington, DC, to mark the first anniversary of the School Turnaround AmeriCorps partnership between the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the Department of Education.
  • Posted on Feb 10, 2014
    By Dana Forde

     

    In the months leading up to her college graduation, Diana Martin sketched a mental blueprint for her future. Her past volunteer work as a summer camp assistant, tutor, and soccer coach all added up to one thing—educating children must be part of that future. And the AmeriCorps program, Diana decided, would help her reach that goal.
  • Posted on Feb 7, 2014
    By Wendy Spencer

     

    Whenever the talk begins about our nation making quality education a priority, it’s no surprise that some may be cynical. After all, we have too many children entering school unprepared, too many falling behind early, and too many dropping out before graduation. Why can’t we change this story? The truth is, we can – and we are.
  • Posted on Feb 5, 2014
    By Sandy Scott

     

    AmeriCorps member Margaret Montague is used to having a steady stream of students come to see her for college advice in her office at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, VA, just outside the nation's capital.
  • Posted on Feb 3, 2014
    By David B. Shapiro and Wendy Spencer

     

    Can a simple mentoring relationship rescue a life in peril? In a world with few easy solutions, there are innumerable stories -- and a new survey -- that demonstrate this could be possible. Let's start with one of these stories.
    Tags: Mentoring
  • Posted on Jan 31, 2014
    By Dorothy Stoneman

     

    Since 1994, over 23,000 YouthBuild AmeriCorps members have served their communities by building over 5,000 units of affordable housing for homeless and low income families in over 150 urban and rural communities. They gutted and rehabbed abandoned buildings that were blights on their neighborhoods, and built whole blocks of new affordable homes.
    Tags: YouthBuild
  • Posted on Jan 31, 2014
    By Greg Tucker

     

    When President Lyndon B. Johnson initiated the “War on Poverty” during his 1964 State of the Union address, he described one of the initiatives as “a National Service Corps to help the economically handicapped of our own country as the Peace Corps now helps those abroad.” By the end of that year, the first class of Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) was on its way to helping the poor in our nation’s most underserved areas.
  • Posted on Jan 28, 2014
    By Sandy Scott

     

    Tonight millions of Americans will watch President Obama deliver his fifth State of the Union Address. One AmeriCorps alum will have a choice seat for all the action. Kathy Hollowell-Makle, who served for two years as an AmeriCorps member with Teach For America, will be a special guest of First Lady Michelle Obama.
  • Posted on Jan 24, 2014
    By Ben Ballerstein

     

    After watching Hurricane Katrina devastate the gulf coast, I wanted to help. My brother told me about a Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) program called AmeriCorps and said I should look into it. I went online and applied to a few programs, but was hoping I'd get the chance to make a difference in the gulf.

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