BALTIMORE, Md. – Civic leaders, elected officials, and community groups joined together to dedicate the new AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) Atlantic Region Campus at the former Sacred Heart of Mary School in Baltimore.
AmeriCorps NCCC, which is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), engages more than 1,600 individuals aged 18 to 24 each year who address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. The Baltimore-based campus will become a training facility for members who will serve in Maryland and 13 other states and territories.
CNCS CEO Wendy Spencer joined Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Archbishop William E. Lori of the Archdiocese, and other invited guests in cutting the ceremonial ribbon and dedicating the new site.
“AmeriCorps volunteers are unflagging, unflinching and determined to make a difference. They tackle the toughest problems in our communities, responding to emergency and disaster situations like Super-Storm Sandy,” Senator Mikulski said. “I fought to create AmeriCorps, I fought to strengthen AmeriCorps, and I'm proud to dedicate this new NCCC campus to establish an even stronger AmeriCorps program in Baltimore. By partnering with our faith-based community to bring the NCCC to the Sacred Heart of Mary, we are continuing in a tradition of working together towards a common purpose to meet a compelling human need. The NCCC is transforming communities and building a new generation of duty-driven volunteers committed to helping their neighbors.”
The most recent class of AmeriCorps NCCC members at the Atlantic Region Campus served as part of the nationwide national service response and recovery effort to Hurricane Sandy. Members performed such critical duties as serving in shelters, staffing call centers, managing a donations warehouse, mucking and gutting homes, removing debris, and leading teams of community volunteers.
“We thank Sen. Mikulski, Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Archbishop Lori, and other partners for welcoming this new training campus to Baltimore,” CEO Spencer said. “AmeriCorps NCCC members refurbish inner-city schools, construct trails in national parks, and help communities affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy rebuild. When these young leaders go into a community, they become part of that community. I assure you that Baltimore will be proud of what future AmeriCorps NCCC teams accomplish in Maryland and other states as a result of the training they receive at this new facility.”
Renovations will begin in early 2013 and the campus will see its first members later that spring. In the new location, the program anticipates it could house as many as 240 members, including AmeriCorps NCCC members serving with FEMA Corps, a first for the Atlantic Region campus.
The Atlantic Region Campus serves 11 states – Conn., Del., Mass., Md., Maine, N.H., N.J., N.Y., Pa., R.I., and Vt. in addition to D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Previous project sponsors in Baltimore include the following: Academy of Success Charter School, Alima Institute, Baltimore City Public Schools, Blue Water Baltimore, City Neighbors Charter Schools, Choice Program, First Robotics, Movable Feast, Parks & People Founding, and Rebuilding Together Baltimore.