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By CNCS Staff |


 National Service News Week in Review |

From generation to generation, service is a common theme that makes a difference in the lives of Americans. Whether it’s a science fair winner thinking of unique solutions to old challenges, adults stepping up to volunteer as mentors, or seniors whose lives are testaments to the benefits of service, our national service family leads by example.

We hope you enjoy their inspiring stories in this week’s message.

Spreading the Word: There is a national crisis for recruiting and retaining mentors. President Obama has vowed to address this with his My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative: a campaign to recruit individuals to serve as mentors to boys and young men of color across the country.

CEO Wendy Spencer met with the President today at the White House along with Cabinet secretaries and private sector leaders to call on more Americans to serve as mentors for the millions of young men without one.


Expanding STEM AmeriCorps: During the White House Science Fair earlier this week, President Obama announced a major expansion of STEM AmeriCorps. A new summer program will place 256 AmeriCorps VISTA members in six states who will serve 18,000 at-risk students in low-performing schools. Another new partnership with US2020 and Citizen Schools will support 25 AmeriCorps VISTA members serving in seven cities to increase STEM opportunities for girls, underrepresented minorities, and children from low-income families.

Two AmeriCorps VISTA members had a front seat for all the action: Danielle Owens, who serves with Maker Education Initiative in Culver City, CA; and Lauren Sadler, from US FIRST in Washington, DC. After walking through the exhibits and hearing the President, they met with Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President. Check out our wrap-up on Storify!


Ringing the Closing Bell: Social Innovation Fund Director Michael Smith joined other leaders in technology, investment, philanthropy, development, and business to participate in the New York Stock Exchange’s closing bell ceremony yesterday. All were in town for the Social Innovation Summit—a twice annual event that encourages innovative partnerships and solutions.


Wrapping Up Seniors in Service Month: In honor of Senior Corps Week, May 19-23, Boston RSVP and Senior Companion programs collaborated with the Boston Housing Authority to check in on all residents living in senior and disabled BHA housing. The Senior Corps volunteers asked residents about their welfare and helped connect them with resources. In total, 20 RSVP and Senior Companion volunteers surveyed 293 residents at five locations throughout Boston.

Also, in his new blog post AmeriCorps Director Bill Basl reflects on the value of older Americans who give their time and talent through Senior Corps and AmeriCorps. Read it here.


Welcoming Recruitment Month: As we usher in the month of June, we’re looking ahead to Recruitment Month as part of our yearlong celebration of the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps. We’ll use this month to highlight our recruitment methods and reasons why AmeriCorps is a great choice for recent college graduates and others looking to jumpstart their careers while making a difference.

National Service in the News


Obama to highlight tech aid at White House science fair
U.S. News & World Report (DC) May 27, 2014
He will also announce and expansion of AmeriCorps to help teach STEM to 18,000 low-income students this summer, and a national STEM mentoring project in seven communities: Chicago; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Allentown, Pennsylvania; Indianapolis; the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina; and Wichita, Kansas.

AmeriCorps VISTA

Utahns Against Hunger initiative urges backyard gardeners to share bounty
Deseret News (UT) May 25, 2014
Liz Elmore, an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), who is heading up the project, said national studies show low-income neighborhoods have fewer grocery stores, which means it is more difficult for residents to obtain fresh food.

AmeriCorps NCCC

AmeriCorps lends helping hands to area nonprofits
Marion Times (IA), May 22, 2014
Granger House Museum director, Kathy Wilson, said she wished she could adopt the service workers from AmeriCorps NCCC, who have been volunteering their time to haul bricks from Hanna Park to the house on 10th Street.

Senior Corps

Vital Aging hosts luncheon
The News (SC) May 27, 2014
This year’s theme for the luncheon was “Foster Grandparents - Channels of Hope.” Master of ceremonies was the Rev. James C. Lane of St. Paul United Methodist Church. Special guest speaker was Andre Dorsey director of the Williamsburg County Boys and Girls Club in Hemingway. At the luncheon, 37 Foster Grandparents were recognized for their service to children.

Social Innovation Fund

McCray’s ‘Mayor’s Fund’ goals begin to take shape
Capital New York—Online (NY), May 27, 2014
The city’s trial would be partially funded by a grant from the Social Innovation Fund—a White House initiative of the Corporation for National Community Service that uses public and private money on local projects.

National Service Blog

Robots, the President, and AmeriCorps, May 27, 2014
We are also joining with US2020 and Citizen Schools to support 25 AmeriCorps VISTA members serving in seven cities to increase STEM opportunities for girls, underrepresented minorities, and children from low-income families.