For Immediate Release
September 9, 2014
Voices for National Service Celebrates 20 Years of AmeriCorps Service and Impact with
New Report Featuring Foreword by Chelsea Clinton
WASHINGTON – To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the swearing-in of the first class of AmeriCorps members, Voices for National Services has published a report highlighting the accomplishments and milestones of the national service program that was established by President Bill Clinton. The report includes a foreword by Chelsea Clinton.
In the report, Voice for National Service chronicles the work of AmeriCorps through a detailed timeline of the program’s many successes and provides testimonials from communities and individuals who have benefited from the services provided by AmeriCorps members. The report also highlights the strong bipartisan support – at the federal, state, and local levels – the program has received over the years. Click here to read the full report.
“For the past two decades, AmeriCorps members have committed their time and energy to improve communities and strengthen our nation. AmeriCorps members have supported students and schools, helped communities to rebuild after natural disasters, preserved the nation’s parks and public lands, expanded access to food and health care in underserved communities, and provided critical services to returning veterans as they transition into civilian life. The service, patriotism, and impact of AmeriCorps members have been felt in local communities nationwide,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service. “And AmeriCorps has the potential and capacity to do much more. By expanding AmeriCorps, we can say yes to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who want to serve but are being turned away each year and give communities across the country the boots on the ground they need to meet pressing local and national challenges.”
In the report’s foreword, Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation writes, “The results of AmeriCorps members’ service have proven time and again that we are stronger when we work together and when we give all Americans the opportunities to match their talents with their dreams. AmeriCorps continues to help give expression to new generations of young people’s commitment to serve our country and create a stronger future for all Americans.”
Over the past 20 years, AmeriCorps has harnessed the energy and ingenuity of more than 900,000 individuals, who have provided a combined 1.2 billion hours of service to improve local communities. AmeriCorps members have gained valuable skills while earning modest stipends and education awards to help make higher education affordable. According to a recent study by economists at Columbia University, every dollar invested in national service results in returns to society of $3.95 in terms of higher earnings, increased output, and other community-wide benefits.
Key milestones for AmeriCorps:
- 1994: The first class of AmeriCorps members is sworn-in by President Bill Clinton at the White House
- 2004: President George W. Bush expands AmeriCorps positions by 50 percent
- 2005: National service members contribute 9.6 million hours of relief and recovery services after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma along the Gulf Coast
- 2009: Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, legislation that calls for the expansion of AmeriCorps to 250,000 positions by 2017, is passed with broad bipartisan support in Congress, including 79 affirmative votes in the Senate
- 2012: FEMA Corps, an innovative partnership between the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is created and projected to save taxpayers $60 million annually
- 2013: President Barack Obama launches the Task Force on Expanding National Service with the goal of expanding service opportunities through partnerships between federal agencies and the private sector
- 2014: Millions of Americans across the country unite to celebrate 20 years of service and impact with a simultaneous swearing in ceremony for the 2014-2015 class of AmeriCorps members.
About Voices for National Service:
Voices for National Service is a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions, who are dedicated to ensuring that Americans of all ages have the opportunity to serve their communities and our country. Founded in 2003, Voices for National Service has built strong bipartisan support among our nation’s leaders and helped position national service as a viable policy solution to tackle unmet needs, expand opportunity, and leverage human capital.