CNCS Celebrates the 25th Birthday of the AmeriCorps Program

Jerry Ashworth
May 15, 2019 at 07:51:48 ET
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Light the candles, folks, and get ready to sing! The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is celebrating the 25th birthday of the AmeriCorps program. If you haven’t heard of this program over the last quarter century, AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs, made up of three primary programs that each take a different approach to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. Members commit their time to address critical community needs like increasing academic achievement, mentoring youth, fighting poverty, sustaining national parks and preparing for disasters.

AmeriCorps currently has 75,000 members who serve through more than 21,000 schools, nonprofits, and community and faith-based organizations across the country. During its 25-year history, more than 1 million AmeriCorps members have served, and these members have provided more than 1.5 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.

To celebrate the program’s silver anniversary, CNCS has announced that it has issued more than $560 million in AmeriCorps grants and education awards this year to help national and local organizations, faith-based groups and educational institutions respond to critical issues facing communities. The funds include about $250 million in grants, nearly 60 percent of which went to national program models, supporting the majority of AmeriCorps members. An additional $140 million was provided to governor-appointed state service commissions, which in turn will be awarded to state-based organizations in the coming months.

CNCS also announced $172 million in education scholarships for AmeriCorps members serving under these grants. After completing a full term of service, members receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of roughly $6,000 to pay for college or to repay student loans.

“Building on America’s strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps can change lives, improve communities, and build a safer and stronger nation,” said AmeriCorps Director Chester Spellman. “For 25 years, the AmeriCorps members who pledge to ‘get things done’ have represented the best of America while demonstrating the great promise and ideals of our country. I congratulate all of this year’s grant recipients, who will help make service possible for a new generation of AmeriCorps members, and salute all those who serve.”

CNCS stated that research has shown that service has an effect on more than just the communities served, but also on the members themselves, adding that AmeriCorps alumni credit their year of service for developing leadership skills that solve problems and opes doors to opportunities that advance their careers and education. The agency noted that anyone interest in serving with AmeriCorp can learn more at this site.

Congratulation on your first 25 years AmeriCorps, and we wish you success on your next 25 years or more.

Join us for our following Federal Grants Forums:

Pittsburgh, Pa., July-23-25, 2019
Dallas, Texas, Oct. 16-18, 2019

Learn more at http://grants.thompson.com/conferences.aspx