Washington, DC, Jan. 24, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith and Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn signed a Memorandum of Understanding between their agencies, launching a new collaboration aimed at galvanizing the next generation of community service leaders and volunteers. The signing event also spotlighted California as the top-producing state of dedicated Peace Corps volunteers, and the long-standing engagement of Californians in service opportunities that foster resilient communities and global progress.
“We are thrilled to join forces with Peace Corps to inspire more Americans to serve their neighbors in need at home and abroad,” said Michael D. Smith, CEO, AmeriCorps. “For decades, AmeriCorps and Peace Corps have created pathways for concerned individuals to strengthen communities and their own lives. This partnership will allow us to accelerate and expand recruitment and outreach to introduce even more individuals to the transformative power of service.”
AmeriCorps and Peace Corps will team up to broaden participation in both international and domestic service for Americans from every background and community. Together, the agencies will recruit and retain members and volunteers who are committed to advancing the cause of peace, friendship, stronger communities and civic engagement through service and volunteering.
“The Peace Corps and AmeriCorps share a foundational belief in the transformative power of service,” said Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn. “At this pivotal moment in history, we are coming together to inspire people of all ages to unite through service, whether here at home or abroad.”
Since the first class of AmeriCorps members pledged to “get things done for America” nearly 30 years ago, more than 1.25 million Americans have served. Every year, thousands of AmeriCorps members prepare students for success, rebuild communities and revitalize cities, support veterans transitioning from military to civilian life, fight the opioid epidemic, preserve public lands, strengthen the workforce and so much more. AmeriCorps members who complete a full term of service earn a Segal Education Award. AmeriCorps members can use the award to pay college costs or to pay down student loan debt. Since 1994, AmeriCorps members nationwide, in return for their service, have earned more than $4.5 billion in education scholarships.
“California is grateful to collaborate with Peace Corps and AmeriCorps as we call on people to serve,” said Josh Fryday, California Chief Service Officer, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor. “California Service Corps members are 10,000 strong and united in their efforts to solve some of our state’s greatest challenges. We need their passion and commitment and encourage all Californians to explore these service opportunities.”
At the event, the Peace Corps announced the agency’s 2023 rankings for the top volunteer-producing states in the United States. These rankings celebrate states that have sent the highest number of residents, between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023, to serve as Peace Corps volunteers abroad. Of the nearly 2,500 volunteers serving worldwide, more than 180 hail from California. Peace Corps volunteers work in six program sectors across 58 countries, including education, health, environmental conservation, agriculture, youth development and community economic development.
While in Los Angeles, CEO Smith and Director Spahn will also participate in meetings with representatives from the television, arts, and media industries to explore elevating the transformative power of service in entertainment to inspire others to volunteer. Additionally, the two agency heads will participate in roundtable discussions with leaders from historically underserved communities to discuss how to drive greater participation in national service, and how to better support AmeriCorps members and Peace Corps volunteers once they accept the invitation to serve.
AmeriCorps and Peace Corps invite individuals from all backgrounds to join their ranks. Visit AmeriCorps.gov/Serve to learn more about AmeriCorps service and make a difference in communities while gaining the skills to kickstart your career and earn money to pay for college. Visit PeaceCorps.gov/Bold to learn more about the Peace Corps and explore opportunities to serve. Interested individuals are encouraged to apply online by March 1, 2024.
AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, provides opportunities for Americans to serve their country domestically, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, improve lives and communities, and strengthen civic engagement. Each year, the agency places more than 200,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in intensive service roles; and empowers millions more to serve as long-term, short-term, or one-time volunteers. Learn more at AmeriCorps.gov.
AmeriCorps offers opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds to be a part of the national service community, grow personally and professionally, and receive benefits for their service. Learn how to get involved at AmeriCorps.gov/Serve.
The Peace Corps is an international service network of volunteers, community members, host country partners and staff who are driven by the agency’s mission of world peace and friendship. At the invitation of governments around the world, Peace Corps volunteers work alongside community members on locally prioritized projects in the areas of education, health, environment, agriculture, community economic development, and youth development. Through service, members of the Peace Corps network develop transferable skills and hone intercultural competencies that position them to be the next generation of global leaders. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans have served in 144 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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