AmeriCorps Announces $9 Million in Funding to Support New Opioid-Focused for New VISTA project in Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Oct 24, 2018

Awarded to Forest Grove Public School, will support nearly 700 AmeriCorps VISTA members over the next three years

GARVIN, OKLA.  – Forest Grove Public School in Garvin, Okla. has been awarded a new opioid-focused AmeriCorps VISTA project valued at nearly $9 million by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that oversees AmeriCorps. A three-year grant, this funding will support nearly 700 AmeriCorps members in total. The grant was announced by Congressman Markwayne Mullin at a community event in Garvin, Okla.

Up to 230 AmeriCorps VISTA members per year will enhance local, regional, and statewide opioid awareness and prevention coalition efforts, building long-term sustainability. Sponsored by Forest Grove Public School, the AmeriCorps members will conduct outreach and implement programming in more than 100 K-12 school districts across the state, reaching approximately 150,000 students.  Some AmeriCorps members supported with this funding will focus on issues related to food insecurity and childhood obesity with 20 partner organizations around the state.

“It is exciting to see the Corporation for National and Community Service award a grant to Forest Grove Public School in Garvin, Oklahoma,” said Congressman Mullin. “Oklahoma has been hit hard by the opioid crisis and it is our job to ensure that future generations are well-equipped to combat this tragic epidemic. I applaud AmeriCorps’ proactive plan to put anti-opioid addiction strategies in place in Oklahoma’s communities. Thank you to AmeriCorps for their work to change the lives of so many and the Corporation for National and Community Service for recognizing the need to combat the opioid crisis in Oklahoma.”

“The opioid epidemic will take an all-hands-on-deck effort and everyone has a role to play,” said Barbara Stewart, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “By using our nation’s greatest resource – the American people -- we can begin to make an impact on this costly crisis, one small step at a time. I’m proud that national service is a part of the solution to this public health emergency.” 

Included in the funding announced today is $900,000 in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards provided by CNCS. AmeriCorps members receive these awards—which are currently valued at $6,000 each—upon completion of service. Members can use their awards to help pay for college, vocational training, or pay back student loans.

Today’s announcement builds upon the agency’s $14.9 million investment in opioid-related programming to expand the reach and impact of substance abuse education, prevention, and recovery efforts. This funding supports more than 1,800 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members in all 50 states who can serve as recovery coaches, build capacity for anti-drug organizations, expand drug abuse education, promote the safe disposal of medication, conduct drug screenings and assessments, help prevent relapse and recidivism, and more. More information on the agency’s opioid-related work can be found here.

Since 1994, more than 1 million AmeriCorps members – including 12,000 Oklahomans -- have provided more than 1.4 billion hours of service and earned more than $3.6 billion in education scholarships, more than $1 billion of which has been used to pay back student debt.

AmeriCorps VISTA members sponsored by Forest Grove Public School will more than 650 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members serving throughout Oklahoma at projects like City Year, Reading Partners, Red River Community Corps, RSVP of Central Oklahoma, and Sunbeam Family Services. Those interested in joining AmeriCorps should visit AmeriCorps.gov/Join.

Back to Top