Category Archives: AmeriCorps

VOTE TODAY for the AmeriCorps Video Contest!

Above: Last year’s winning AmeriCorps Video Contest submission…

Recently, AmeriCorps turned to its far-flung network of members and alums for help in recruiting the next class of AmeriCorps members by hosting its second YouTube-style video contest. Five finalists have been chosen and now the National Service Community is asked to VOTE TODAY for the top video in this year’s contest, which coincides with the second annual AmeriCorps Week.

The contest asked participants to create a 60-second spot answering the question “Why AmeriCorps?” Entries could address topics such as how AmeriCorps tackles some of America’s biggest challenges; what AmeriCorps means to you; and why someone should join AmeriCorps.

The grand prize is a volunteer vacation worth up to $5,000 courtesy of Travelocity through its Travel For Good Change Ambassadors program. Second prize is an iPod Shuffle, and third prize is an AmeriCorps Alums Prize Pack, both courtesy of AmeriCorps Alums. The five semifinalists will receive a free one-year membership from AmeriCorps Alums. Help choose which of the five finalist videos will win… VOTE TODAY!

The video contest is part of AmeriCorps Week, the national recognition and recruitment event taking place through Sunday, May 18th, aimed at engaging more Americans in service, saluting AmeriCorps members and alums for their impact, and thanking the partners that make AmeriCorps possible.


Leave a comment

Filed under ACTION!, AmeriCorps

I Believe In You

Late night update from Seattle.  

Matt and I finished our 32 hour epic from Denver to Seattle via: Laramie, Rock Springs, Salt Lake City, Tremonton, Boise, Baker City, Stanfield and Ellensburg. It was an interesting ride, including great lines like this from our driver, Roger: “This is a journey, not only of sight and sound, but imagination.”  Don’t you forget it.

I also became friends with a man who also made the Denver-Seattle journey. I never picked up his name. I met him when he sat down next to me pulled something out of his pocket. He said it was “something special.” It was an one dollar coin circa the late 19th century. It looked something like this:

In describing it, he explained to me, “You see, I like really old… cool things.” 

He was planning on going up to Canada, but only had an ID from Hawaii on him. After he asked me if I thought he’d be allowed to cross the border without a passport, he told me he knew a guy in Canada, and maybe after the border patrol spoke with his friend, he’d be allowed to cross.  

My next set of encounters with my friend was on the second half of the trip. He walked by me on the bus, and told me he wanted to talk before the ride was over, but I shouldn’t worried, because it was good. When I was later getting Subway, and we had the following exchange:

Him: Hey man, I wanted to talk to you.

Me: Oh yeah, what about?

Him: What words can you tell me, that I can say to myself, to think good thoughts up here (pointing to head)?

Me: I don’t know man.

Him: What words do you believe in, because I believe in you!

The last adventure involved Matt and my friend. While I was checking when our bus was leaving out of Stanfield, OR, Matt was having a couple corn dogs. Then my friend turned around from his seat (mid-chew) and said to Matt: “I really like your friend… and you. I really like you and your friend.”

It made for a fun day and a half experiencing the Northwest with Greyhound. We’ll be here for a couple days with a meeting on Thursday before taking the tour South to San Francisco.  

Here’s a picture Matt took from Boulder, featuring the limited edition AmeriCorps bottle caps!


Filed under 30-in-60 Bus Tour, AmeriCorps

Chelsea Clinton serves, talks about importance of public service on the stump…


Chelsea Clinton has attended a couple service events while campaigning for her mother this past week.  In the above photo, she is seen volunteering last Saturday with Rebuilding Together in Delaware County, Indiana.  The organization was celebrating its 20th annual National Rebuilding Day. 

On Monday in Charlotte, North Carolina, Clinton spoke to volunteers at an event with Hands On Charlotte about her mother’s belief in public service. 

Chelsea Clinton said volunteering is very important to her family. Her father, former President Bill Clinton, started AmeriCorps. Her mother wants to start a Green Corps program that would promote environmental projects while helping volunteers earn money for college or other efforts.

“My mother believes that so much of what we do in public service is so critical to our social life and to our future as a country,” Clinton said.

The service event was organized by America Forward, a non-partisan coalition organized by New Profit, Inc. that includes more than 60 results-oriented, entrepreneurial nonprofit organizations with programs operating in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Together, these organizations serve more than 10 million people per year and have a collective budget of more than $300 million. 

Specifically, America Forward proposes scaling National Service, which includes:

  • A tiered approach to AmeriCorps funding that reflects the stages of organizational development, including a tier that allows long-term successful programs to work in partnership with the Corporation to grow and reach new communities
  • Social entrepreneur start-up fellowships for national service alumni to enable promising AmeriCorps alums to put their ideas for solving community problems into action
  • Increased emphasis on social entrepreneurship in Learn and Serve America and Senior Corps programming

Click here to learn about America Forward’s policy ideas around National Service.

1 Comment

Filed under AmeriCorps, Learn & Serve America, National Service in the News, Peace Corps, Senior Corps

ACTION: Support AmeriCorps Week Resolution!


This afternoon, Voices for National Service sent an email encouraging supporters to call on their Congressional delegation to co-sponsor resolutions in both the House and the Senate to recognize the second annual AmeriCorps Week, slated for May 11-18, 2008. 

Committed to growing support in Congress for AmeriCorps members, alumni, and the expansion of its network of programs, strongly encourages its grassroots network to follow Voices for National Service’s lead and their specific strategy for appealing to elected officials to co-sponsor resolutions recognizing AmeriCorps Week (detailed below).   

The AmeriCorps Week resolution in the Senate is being sponsored by U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) while the resolution in the House of Representatives is being sponsored by Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA), Congressman Christopher Shays (R-CT), Congressman David Price (D-NC), and Congressman Todd Platts (R-PA). 

If your elected officials is already listed, please call and thank them.  If not, please call and ask them to co-sponsor their governing body’s resolution recognizing AmeriCorps Week.  It will take less than 5 minutes!

Voices for National Service’s Action Steps for AmeriCorps Week:

1. Call the Capitol operator at 202-225-3121 to be connected to your congressional representatives.

2. Ask your elected official to co-sponsor the House or Senate AmeriCorps Week Resolution, honoring the accomplishments of AmeriCorps members.

3. To co-sponsor, interested offices should contact:

    HOUSE – Jonathan Asher with Congressman Matsui’s office at 202-225-7163.

    SENATE – Laura Schifter with Senator Dodd’s office at 202-224-2823.

Then, talk to 3 friends in your town and ask them to do the same so that you multiply your impact and make sure that your elected officials know that National Service needs to be a national priority.  Thank you!

Additional Resources:

Leave a comment

Filed under ACTION!, AmeriCorps, National Service in the News

National Volunteer Week

President George W. Bush has released the following statement as part of a proclamation declaring April 27-May 3, 2008 to be National Volunteer Week 2008.  In it, he recognizes the service of citizens through the USA Freedom Corps.

Through volunteer work, Americans can demonstrate the kindness and generosity that make our Nation great.  Mentoring a child, teaching someone to read, visiting the elderly, feeding the hungry, and finding shelter for the homeless are all examples of how Americans can and do aid those in need.  Americans are volunteering in record numbers.  Each year, millions of Americans volunteer, and more of our fellow citizens are discovering that the pursuit of happiness leads to the path of service.  The cumulative effort of the love and compassion from our Nation’s volunteers will help secure a more hopeful future for all our citizens.

My Administration remains committed to building a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility.  The USA Freedom Corps strengthens civic engagement and volunteer service in America and helps people connect with volunteer opportunities.  By visiting the USA Freedom Corps website at, individuals can find information about ways they can help in their local areas and across the country.

The USA Freedom Corps was created in 2002 by President Bush in correlation with his challenge to all Americans to commit 2 years – 4000 hours – in service over the course of their lifetime.  The USAFC works to build “a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility in America.”  The Freedom Corps works with the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps, Learn & Serve America, the Peace Corps and Senior Corps to provide volunteer opportunities to all Americans.  

Leave a comment

Filed under AmeriCorps, Learn & Serve America, National Service in the News, Peace Corps, Proclamations, Senior Corps

American Jewish Commitee’s “Imagining America”

Last Thursday, Matt and I were hosted by Access, the American Jewish Committee’s Youth Professional association, in New York City.  Joined by the the New York Urban League’s Young Professionals and the New York City chapter of AmeriCorps Alums, we discussed ways in which service as a shared experience can break down barriers between individuals and communities.  Look for a video update in the coming days! 

Last year, the American Jewish Committee released a report titled “Imagining America: Making National Service a National Priority.”  Click here to read the full report.

A national task force sponsored by the American Jewish Committee is urging that a year of voluntary national service become the rule, not the exception, for young American adults, ages 18 to 25. The task force recommendations are detailed in its report, Imagining America: Making National Service a National Priority. “At least one year of full-time, intensive service, either military or civilian, should be the standard, not the exception,” concludes the task force. The full report is available at

“We want to invigorate the conversation so that our political leaders will partner with businesses and universities to make a solid investment in this effort,” said Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, president emeritus of George Washington University, where he is now a professor of public service. Trachtenberg chaired the AJC-sponsored task force. “The goal is to enlist one million participants per year.”

The 30-member task force met over the course of the past year to assess the history of national service in the United States, existing programs such as AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps, and ways to greatly expand the national service efforts to make them available to a diverse group of young adults across the country. Task force members included leaders in business, education, politics and the not-for-profit service sector.

“Service programs link the rights and privileges of being American with a clear sense of responsibility,” states the report. “By helping to create habits of civic engagement in young people that last a lifetime, they provide benefits to both participants and society.”

Existing service programs receive more applicants than they can take, and they are not always able to provide the financial and other type of assistance to draw young adults from diverse backgrounds and with diverse abilities. A broad expansion of the national service concept will require a commitment of support from the nation’s business, education and public sectors.

The task force is calling on Democrats and Republicans to make a commitment to civilian national service part of their party platforms.

Leave a comment

Filed under AmeriCorps, Chapter Launches

She Serves When She Celebrates

Last night, I got to hang with birthday girl Jules Mathis (AmeriCorps ’05, ’06), her supportive friends from Rutgers University, and the mighty AmeriCorps members with City Year Greater Philadelphia who are in the middle of 100 Hours of Power — a physical service marathon with projects happening for 100 consecutive hours across Philly!  An awesome team of service warriors led Jules and her friends in some inspiring late-night service from 8pm-12am at the Germantown YWCA Child Care Center. 

Click above to hear from Jules why she was out doing service on her birthday…

1 Comment

Filed under AmeriCorps, Human Interest, Stories of Service Impact