National Service Blog

  • Posted on Mar 28, 2014
    By Samantha Vernon

     

    I am an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving in Montana with the Global Health Equity Foundation on their social media based project titled "Let's Talk." This project allows me to work toward enabling Healthy Futures in a different way. In fact, I'm the only member working on a mental health project in the state.

    Let's Talk promotes conversations and awareness around the issue of suicide in Montana. This unfortunate problem is being addressed by a group of courageous teenagers who are standing up to tell their stories in an attempt to provide support so that other teens know it's okay to talk and that no one is alone.

    AmeriCorps VISTA Samantha Vernon served with FEMA Corps in Queens, NY, on projects during the Hurricane Sandy recovery before her current assignment in Montana.Before I became an AmeriCorps VISTA member, I worked with AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps where I saw first-hand how natural disasters and poverty affect mental health. My team and I were stationed in Queens, New York, to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Many of those people were devastated by the loss of their belongings, their livelihoods, their homes, and even friends and family...

  • 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.
  • 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.

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