National Service Blog

  • Posted on Nov 7, 2014

    I have several projects in response to the President's call to service. First of all I have, for 13 years, served on Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard teams where I conduct funeral services for our heroes. I do the reading to honor the passing veterans. I have done hundreds and hundreds of funerals, if not thousands at a National Cemetery and private cemeteries in two states.

    It consists of finding the appropriate words to pay tribute to someone who has offered his or her life for our great country. It is the greatest honor bestowed upon me. Perhaps there are no adequate words but I try as best as possible.

    I am a disabled Vietnam veteran, a retired military veteran with 26 years active service, I am totally disabled from my employment, and I am father of an active duty Green Beret who has served multiple tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    I wanted to somehow give back and support our veterans and their families for their service within the limits of my disabilities. I am particularly burdened with the loss of about 75% of my long term memory and virtually have no short term memory that resulted from a problem during heart surgery years ago.

    I understand that after military retirement I was a fairly talented computer programmer and webmaster in the civilian market before that occurrence and I have retained some minimal skills, though most have been long forgotten. I attempt to use what skills remaining to help our veterans as best as possible but I must admit it is a difficult chore.

    My other work for my fellow veterans involves putting together a bi-monthly, 32 page newsletter to provide our veterans...

  • Posted on Mar 5, 2014
    By Wendy Spencer

     

    Our nation is more health-conscious and health-aware than ever, but for many there are still obstacles – an untreated disease, obesity, or lack of healthy food -- that prevent them from living their lives to the fullest. That needs to change, and our AmeriCorps members are working to make that happen every day.
  • Posted on Mar 4, 2014
    By Michael Smith

     

    Nearly five years after President Obama announced the creation of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) in a ceremony at the White House, the program has achieved amazing progress. Its portfolio includes more than a half billion dollars of cross-sector investments in effective community solutions. Many already show promising early results. Nonprofits are establishing new connections and building capacity that will benefit the entire social sector and the country. And the SIF is accomplishing this in a way that demonstrates the importance of combining innovation, evaluation, and scale to accelerate the pace of change.
    Tags: Grants
  • Posted on Feb 28, 2014
    By Tayler Stuger

     

    Last year I served as a City Year AmeriCorps member at DC Scholars Stanton Elementary School in Southeast Washington, DC. In my role, I tutored and mentored the students at Stanton, and worked with teachers and administrators to help turn around one of the District’s lowest performing schools. I’m proud to be part of Stanton’s turnaround success story. This year I lead a team of 18 City Year AmeriCorps members, all serving through the School Turnaround AmeriCorps grant.
  • Posted on Feb 28, 2014
    By Dana Forde

     

    Lacking significant support from family, then-high school student Amanda Parris didn’t believe college was an option. But her enrollment in a dropout prevention program led to night classes at a local community college and awakened a desire to give back to others.
  • Posted on Feb 28, 2014
    By Michael Brown and Jim Balfanz

     

    At many low-performing, high-poverty schools across the country, graduating from high school is a 50-50 proposition. Because of the scale of the challenges faced by students and teachers, extra help is needed to ensure students receive additional personalized support
  • Posted on Feb 28, 2014
    By Scott Cowen

     

    When I get invited to speak at conferences and events, people typically want to hear about the rebirth of Tulane, the story of how Tulane came back stronger and better after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. How did we manage to increase retention and graduation rates, raise student selectivity and invigorate Tulane's national reputation only a few years after the storm? While a number of decisions and people contributed to these successes, I never fail to highlight the single most important factor: our profound commitment to public service and civic engagement.
  • Posted on Feb 27, 2014
    By Wendy Spencer

     

    During your life’s journey, I am sure that you can remember times when your path was made clearer or your baggage lighter because of someone who helped along the way. These thoughts came to mind today as President Obama outlined his plan to expand opportunity for boys and young men of color through the My Brother’s Keeper initiative and a new federal task force on which I am honored to serve.
  • Posted on Feb 27, 2014
    By Dana Forde

     

    Before becoming an AmeriCorps member, John Laderer yearned for a clear direction. “I was somebody who was just floating by in high school,” he said. “I really wasn’t learning…and my reading, writing, and math scores reflected that.”
  • Posted on Feb 26, 2014
    By CNCS Staff

     

    March has been designated Healthy Futures Month for the AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary celebration. So, what does Healthy Futures mean?...
  • Posted on Feb 25, 2014
    By Michael Smith

     

    In 2009, President Obama created the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) with a simple goal: Find solutions that work and provide the resources and spotlight needed so they can work for more people. Nearly five years later, the Social Innovation Fund represents more than a half billion dollars in public and private funds that are evaluating, expanding, and igniting innovative community solutions nationwide.

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