Bipartisan Group of National Service Champions to be Honored for Support of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ranit Schmelzer, 202-538-1065,

Bipartisan Group of National Service Champions to be Honored for Support of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps

Senators Blunt, Coons, and Merkley, Representatives DeLauro, Thompson, and Walorski, and Governor Gavin Newsom among honorees

Washington, DC (February 7, 2020) – Voices for National Service will honor 23 distinguished leaders in government, business, and journalism at the 17th Annual Friends of National Service Awards on February 11, 2020 in Washington, DC.

The honorees were selected based on recognition and support for national service as a solution to some of the nation’s most pressing challenges. Each award winner has helped to ensure robust support for AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, raised public awareness of national service, and elevated it as a national priority.

“These honorees are extraordinary leaders from across the country who understand the unique value of national service as an efficient strategy for engaging citizens, preparing young adults for work, solving problems, and strengthening and uniting our nation,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President, Voices for National Service. “Their commitment to national service, and their leadership in advancing it even in the face of daunting political odds, directly benefits communities large and small across this country. We’re tremendously grateful for their continued efforts to help expand national service in America.”

The 2020 Awards and Honorees:

  • Edward M. Kennedy National Service Lifetime Leadership Award, for life-long dedication to citizen service and for outstanding leadership in advancing national service as a civic commitment and legislative priority: Representative John Lewis (GA)
  • John S. McCain Service to Country Award, for life-long devotion to country through citizen and public service and for exceptional leadership in advancing national service to solve community problems: Senator Chris Coons (DE)
  • National Service Hall of Fame, for extraordinary commitment to national service: Senator Roy Blunt (MO) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT)
  • National Service Champion Award, for steadfast leadership in promoting the expansion of opportunities for citizens to serve, and unwavering support for building a stronger future for national service: Senator Michael Bennet (CO) and Representative Steve Stivers (OH)
  • Congressional Service Award, for remarkable commitment to national service as a strategy to solve local and national issues: Senator Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Representatives Glenn Thompson (PA) and Jackie Walorksi (IN)
  • Distinguished Service Award, for exemplary efforts to expand high-quality opportunities for citizens to serve their community and our country: Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI) and Representative John Moolenaar (MI)
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt Service and Conservation Corps Leadership Award, for championing the important role of service and conservation corps in modern day America, reflective of the legendary ideals and work accomplished by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Depression Era Civilian Conservation Corps: Senator Jeff Merkley (OR)
  • Outstanding New Member Award, for first-term members of Congress who have worked to elevate national service as a legislative priority: Senator Rick Scott (FL), Representatives Deb Haaland (NM) and Donna Shalala (FL)
  • State Leadership Award, for leadership and innovation in leveraging national service to meet state needs: Governor Gavin Newsom (CA) and State Rep. Aaron Lieberman (AZ)
  • Local Leadership Award, for leadership and innovation in leveraging national service to meet local needs: Mayor Ras Baraka (Newark, NJ)
  • Citizen Service Award, for investing in the civic health of our nation through support of national service: Lieutenant General Benjamin Freakley
  • Service in Media Award, for using journalism to raise awareness of and encourage Americans’ participation in national service: Fareed Zakaria, CNN
  • Stoneman Brown National Service Advocate of the Year Award, for exemplary determination, creativity, and results in building support for national service among our nation’s leaders: State Rep. Matt Wilhelm (NH)


17th Annual Friends of National Service Awards
Hosted by Voices for National Service
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 from 6:30 – 8:30pm
Hyatt Regency, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

The Friends of National Service Awards is sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal, CSX, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and The Corps Network.


Every year, nearly 300,000 Americans serve in national service programs that provide critical services to fulfill unmet needs. National service members tutor and mentor students, help fight the opioid epidemic, provide job training and other services to returning veterans, preserve the nation’s parks and public lands, offer disaster relief and recovery assistance after natural disasters and support independent living for seniors and Americans with disabilities.

Through AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, national service allows citizens of all ages and backgrounds to play a pivotal role in their communities by serving with thousands of nonprofit faith-based and community-based organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, City Year and Teach For America. Since 1994, more than 1.1 million AmeriCorps members have served, giving more than 1.6 billion hours of service and earning more than $3.6 billion in education awards, or scholarships, $1 billion of which has been used to pay back student debt. A survey of AmeriCorps alumni found that eight out of 10 alumni say AmeriCorps benefited and advanced their career path, and that AmeriCorps alumni are more likely to attain a bachelor’s degree or higher than the average American adult.  A recent study of Senior Corps found their members were healthier, less depressed, and less socially isolated than those who did not serve.

Congress created the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that oversees national service programs such as AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, to be a public-private partnership that invests limited federal dollars to leverage substantial private investment to improve lives and communities. Every year, CNCS programs generate more than $1 billion in leveraged resources from businesses, foundations, and other sources, an amount exceeding the federal appropriation. Furthermore, for every federal dollar invested in national service, there are returns to society of nearly four dollars in terms of higher earnings, increased output and other community-wide benefits.


Voices for National Service is a diverse coalition of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs, state service commissions and individual champions, who work to ensure Americans of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to serve and volunteer in their community. Founded in 2003, Voices for National Service has built strong bipartisan support among our nation’s leaders and helped to elevate national service as a powerful strategy for tackling unmet needs, preparing young people for work, uniting our country and developing civic character.


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