AmeriCorps CEO Tours National Service Projects in Mississippi and Louisiana
AmeriCorps CEO Michael Smith attends FEMA Corps graduation and New Orleans Book Festival; visits education and disaster relief programs
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO, visited Vicksburg and Jackson, Miss. and New Orleans, this weekend to celebrate FEMA Corps Class 27A’s graduation, see national service programs in action and hear from AmeriCorps members and alumni.
On Friday, March 11, Smith attended FEMA Corps Class 27A’s graduation ceremony and reception at the AmeriCorps NCCC Southern Region campus in Vicksburg, Miss. During his visit, members shared how their FEMA Corps experience opened them to travel, personal growth, professional development and new career pathways. More than 70% of Class 27A graduates have accepted offers from FEMA, among other emergency management positions.
Next, Smith traveled to Jackson, Miss., to tour Genesis and Light, a local nonprofit receiving AmeriCorps funding that assists youth in developing positive self-esteem and moral values while encouraging academic excellence. Genesis and Light has served 2,000+ kids in the Jackson area since 1992 thanks to the support of more than 500 adults, including AmeriCorps members and local volunteers, who have made their mission possible.
Smith concluded his day with a meet-and-greet hosted by Volunteer Mississippi where AmeriCorps members, commissioners and stakeholders shared their challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic, discussed ways to combat learning loss and how AmeriCorps can continue to support the local community.
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On Saturday, March 12, Smith kicked off his day in New Orleans with City Year NOLA at the New Orleans Book Festival. City Year NOLA, an AmeriCorps program dedicated to helping students and schools succeed, engaged students attending the festival with literacy-related activities.
The CEO then joined an AmeriCorps NCCC team serving with Rebuilding Together New Orleans for a roundtable at their downtown New Orleans office. AmeriCorps members shared their experiences and successes from their ongoing disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Ida.
Smith finished his day visiting a home renovation site managed by AmeriCorps NCCC members and NECHAMA, a Jewish Response to Disaster organization that offers sustained direct services in the US following the onset of natural disasters.
The trip kicks off AmeriCorps Week, a celebration of the millions of Americans ages 18 to 75+, who have served with AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors. Right now, there are 250,000 people serving as members or volunteers in over 40,000 locations across all 50 states and territories. To join the celebration, follow AmeriCorps on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and join the conversation by sharing pictures and stories on Twitter, using #AmeriCorpsWeek.