$30 million in education scholarships would support 8,000 new AmeriCorps members
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) today announced the AmeriCorps Partnerships Challenge, a call to action to the private sector, nonprofits, philanthropies, and public agencies at every level to develop proposals to expand AmeriCorps service opportunities.
CNCS is dedicating up to $30 million in education scholarships to support this challenge. This amount of Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards is enough to support more than 8,000 new AmeriCorps members.
“At a time of social need, when Americans are eager to serve, we need to significantly expand national service opportunities, and public-private partnerships are the game-changing solution to help us reach that goal,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Through the AmeriCorps Partnerships Challenge, we are calling on all sectors to join us in expanding opportunities for Americans to serve their country.”
Spencer announced the challenge at the 2014 Summit at Gettysburg. This convening is organized by the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute along with the National Conference on Citizenship, ServiceNation, and Voices for National Service. It includes participants from the private sector, higher education, government, the military, faith communities, philanthropy, and nonprofit organizations in an action-forcing event to secure commitments from various sectors.
Programs supported through the AmeriCorps Partnerships Challenge will benefit from being part of the national AmeriCorps network, receiving training and technical assistance, recruitment support, and the brand identification of being an AmeriCorps program. AmeriCorps members will be eligible for education scholarships and loan forbearance, and will gain valuable skills and experiences to advance their career goals while they make a difference in communities.
This announcement also follows a Presidential Memorandum that established the Task Force on Expanding National Service. The Task Force is charged with addressing pressing needs by expanding national service opportunities through public-private partnerships.
The AmeriCorps Partnerships Challenge builds on other Task Force-related partnerships:
- Last week, President Obama announced an expansion of STEM AmeriCorps at the White House Science Fair. STEM AmeriCorps aims to spur student interest in science, technology, engineering, and math education. A new summer program will place 256 AmeriCorps VISTA members in six southern states and thus connect approximately 18,000 at-risk students in low-performing schools to STEM opportunities. This initiative builds on existing partnerships with FIRST, Maker Education Initiative, Citizen Schools, Teach for America, and other organizations that are collectively engaging tens of thousands of students in STEM learning.
- In March, CNCS and Points of Light announced ServiceWorks. Part of a ground-breaking partnership with the Citi Foundation, called Pathways to Progress, ServiceWorks will deploy 225 AmeriCorps VISTA members over three years. These AmeriCorps members will engage youth, ages 16-24, in service and build a large-scale volunteer response to the crisis of low college and career attainment. Citi Foundation’s $10 million investment in ServiceWorks marks the largest corporate-sponsored AmeriCorps VISTA project in history.
- CNCS has also entered into similar partnerships with other federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (the FEMA Corps unit of AmeriCorps NCCC) and the Department of Education (School Turnaround AmeriCorps).