WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, thousands of Americans across the country will participate in AmeriCorps Week, celebrating the contributions of the more than 1 million AmeriCorps members and alumni who have pledged to “get things done” for America. The weeklong celebration also spotlights the contributions and support of thousands of local organizations that make AmeriCorps programs possible.
AmeriCorps Week 2018 kicked off with the debut of a new video that puts the AmeriCorps Pledge in action and highlights the many ways AmeriCorps “gets things done.” The celebratory week will also include service projects, recognition ceremonies, forums, and proclamations from governors and other civic leaders. AmeriCorps programs will host elected officials, community leaders, and senior staff from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that oversees AmeriCorps, to serve as members for the day, witnessing firsthand the impact of national service.
CNCS leadership will participate in the celebration throughout the week, serving alongside AmeriCorps members, leading roundtables, and more. To kick off AmeriCorps Week, CEO Barbra Stewart visited with Civic Works and the Choice Program AmeriCorps members in Baltimore, Md. Chester Spellman, the director of AmeriCorps participated in service projects in Flint and Detroit, Mich. with AmeriCorps programs including the Urban Safety Corps, Reading Corps, the American Red Cross, and Youth Energy Squad. Gina Cross, the acting director of AmeriCorps NCCC and AmeriCorps alum herself joined AmeriCorps NCCC members in Vicksburg, Ms., cleaning up the Vicksburg National Military Park. Eileen Conoboy, the acting director of AmeriCorps VISTA, met AmeriCorps members from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and later in the week will participate in a service project with LifeBridge AmeriCorps VISTA members in West Virginia. There, she’ll also meet with AmeriCorps VISTA members working on opioid-related projects. Deputy Director of Senior Corps, Erin McGrath, an AmeriCorps alum, will join in the AmeriCorps Week action by serving as a City Year AmeriCorps member for a day in Washington, D.C.
Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through 21,600 schools, nonprofits, and community and faith-based organizations across the country. These citizens have played a critical role in the recovery of communities affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. They also tutor and mentor young people, connect veterans to jobs, care for seniors, reduce crime and revive cities, fight the opioid epidemic, and meet other critical needs.
Since 1994, AmeriCorps members 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. Those interested in joining AmeriCorps can learn more at AmeriCorps.gov/Join.
A growing body of research shows that service has an effect on more than just the communities served, but also on the members themselves. AmeriCorps alumni credit their year of service for developing leadership skills that bridges divides solves problems, and opens doors to opportunities that advance their careers and education. In addition, research shows that alumni gain skills and are exposed to experiences that communities and employers find valuable.
Public, private, and nonprofit sector employers have demonstrated their commitment to hiring AmeriCorps alumni, signing on to be an Employer of National Service. Launched by CNCS in 2014, the initiative builds a talent pipeline connecting AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni with leading employers. More than 500 employers have pledged to hire these alumni including Disney; Timberland; Farmers Insurance; MasterCard; United Way Worldwide; Habitat for Humanity; the cities of Nashville, Philadelphia and Phoenix; the states of Montana and Virginia; the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and NASA.
To join the celebration, follow AmeriCorps on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and join the conversation by sharing pictures and stories on Twitter, using #GetThingsDone.