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The impact of National Service can be seen around the country. 

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More than 6.7 million low‐income youth between the ages of 16 and 24 are either homeless, in foster care, involved in the juvenile justice system, unemployed, or not enrolled in or at risk of dropping out of an educational institution. Through programs such as AmeriCorps, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recruits opportunity youth to engage in national service projects, and in return, these young adults receive mentoring, coaching, and skills development that position them for success after their service ends.

CNCS’s Office of Research & Evaluation (ORE) recently completed a study of opportunity youth who were engaged in service as AmeriCorps members. The study faced challenges measuring the impact of these national service programs due to small sample sizes and limited program capacity. To address these challenges and support a more efficient use of evaluation resources, ORE worked with its grantees to implement a “bundled approach,” which groups several smaller AmeriCorps programs together into a single evaluation.

From Approach to Results

ORE engaged independent evaluator JBS International to conduct an impact evaluation of the bundled programs with a goal of assessing whether participants showed greater improvements in education, employment, and civic engagement outcomes than comparison youth. Surveys were administered to participating youth at three points: the start of their service, the conclusion, and then six months after service.

“From the very beginning, CNCS wanted to make this an evaluation capacity building exercise,” said Rebecca Frazier of JBS International. “Not just a rigorous evaluation by an outside third party, but also an evaluation learning opportunity – one in which programs could build evaluation capacity through experiential learning.”

Key findings from the impact evaluation included:

May 18, 2018

More than 6.7 million low‐income youth between the ages of 16 and 24 are either homeless, in foster care, involved in the juvenile justice system, unemployed, or not enrolled in...

It’s a busy Tuesday evening in February at Federal Hill House (FHH) in Providence, Rhode Island with several clients waiting to have their taxes prepared. Clients have come to trust and rely on the free tax preparation service offered by the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). The VITA program offers free tax help to people who make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.

Senior Corps RSVP volunteers are a critical part of the program and assist clients by greeting them, preparing and reviewing their tax returns, helping them fill out and understand their tax forms, explaining the tax credits for which they may or may not qualify, and making referrals to programs in the community. The Senior Corps RSVP volunteers are recruited by Federal Hill House to serve throughout Providence.

Nancy Henry, a Senior Corps RSVP volunteer, is one of the familiar faces who welcomes clients when they walk through the doors. She has served as a VITA volunteer for more than six years. As a trained IRS-certified volunteer, Nancy and six other Senior Corps RSVP volunteers are part of a team that helped prepare 2,930 tax returns this tax season (as of April 8, 2018). That marks an 8.57% increase from the previous year for the City of Providence.

Senior Corps RSVP volunteers serve at the various VITA sites across Providence, generating refunds, promoting credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, and referring clients to other financial programs such as the first-time homebuyer classes and credit repair program offered by member agencies of the coalition.

May 7, 2018

By Mei Cobb, Director of Volunteer & Employee Engagement,
United Way Worldwide

Giving back to others isn’t just good for the community—it’s good for your health, too. In fact, volunteering at any age improves your physical and mental health exponentially. Not only do volunteers have lower mortality rates and less depression, but when you volunteer later in life, it contributes to living longer and can even decrease the risk of dementia. By volunteering just two hours a week, older adults can reduce early level disability.

May 2, 2018

By Jennifer Ingham, Senior Communications Manager, City Year

Every March, AmeriCorps Week is an opportunity for AmeriCorps programs to come together to celebrate the power of national service. Since 1994, over one million individuals have served 1.4 billion hours and earned a total of 3.6 billion in Segal Education Awards. AmeriCorps programs have leveraged $1 billion in private, philanthropic and other resources as well as mobilizing millions of additional community volunteers in the last year alone.

At City Year, March is not just when AmeriCorps Week happens—we extend the celebration of our AmeriCorps members to the entire month to recognize the 3,000 City Year AmeriCorps members serving this year as mentors and tutors in high-need schools in 28 cities.


This year, City Year locations across the country got creative with several different ways to appreciate their AmeriCorps members for all they do every day to support students. City Year staff and partners provided homemade baked goods, acknowledged AmeriCorps members with school wide announcements and notes from students, and gifted them movie tickets and sporting events. City Year national staff organized care packages for each school team and personally signed gratitude posters that had encouraging messages to keep them fired up as they finish their year of service.

Apr 25, 2018

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  Service experience helps man overcome unexpected homelessness By Dominic GonzalezAs an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving with San Antonio’s...

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