Michael D. Smith celebrated AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers for service achievements, met with anti-drug coalition to discuss reducing youth drug abuse

WASHINGTON, DC— Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO, visited Tennessee recently to meet with AmeriCorps members, honor service achievements and learn more about AmeriCorps Seniors service opportunities in local communities. Smith also met with an anti-drug coalition, discussing strategies to reduce drug abuse in young people. 

On Monday, April 3, Smith presented President’s Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Awards to two AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serving with FiftyForward in Nashville, Tenn. Both awardees have given tens of thousands of hours mentoring children and addressing food insecurity in their communities. 

Ed Batsel and Eliza Eules were honored with the awards. Batsel has served multiple programs, including AmeriCorps Seniors, for more than 25 years. Eules, also an AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer, has served for 26 years. 

Smith attended the National Youth Leadership Council’s 34th Annual National Service-Learning Conference. Smith gave remarks and met with adults and youth, discussing how young people can engage in service-learning opportunities to connect with their local communities.

On Tuesday, April 4, Smith met with the Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition in Kingston, Tenn., and participated in a roundtable discussion, focused on AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serving with the RSVP program and how to effectively reduce youth substance use. The discussion supports AmeriCorps efforts to address the national opioid crisis, a priority for the Biden-Harris administration.

The Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition, a private, nonprofit, grassroots corporation, recently recorded a 39-percent reduction in prevalence of substance use in the county, and a $14.66 savings in Public Burden Spending for every dollar spent on prevention.

Last year, more than 4,800 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers served at more than 700 locations in Tennessee, including schools, food banks, homeless shelters, health clinics, youth centers, veterans facilities and more. AmeriCorps invested more than $20.9 million in federal funding in the Volunteer State, supporting cost-effective community solutions.