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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Spend a year in service.

I've written before about opportunities to spend two years in service. Now, here's a wonderful opportunity for young people to spend one year in service.
City Year seeks to demonstrate, improve and promote the concept of national service as a means for building a stronger democracy. An action tank is both a program and a think tank - constantly combining theory and practice to advance new policy ideas, make programmatic breakthroughs, and bring about major changes in society.
There are three major program areas:

* Full-time youth service corps - "City Year’s signature program, the City Year youth service corps, unites more than 1,000 young adults, ages 17-24, from diverse backgrounds for a demanding year of full-time community service, leadership development, and civic engagement."

* Large-scale, high-impact community events - "City Year unites thousands of people each year in completing critical service projects to revitalize their communities, fostering a spirit of civic engagement and bringing together community members from all walks of life."

* National service policies and initiatives - "By generating new, innovative policy ideas and leading discussion around these ideas, City Year seeks to build awareness and support for citizen service among leaders and key stakeholders across the country and the world."

Sound like something you or someone you know would be interested in? Then get involved! Check out the City Year sites (the newest one is in Little Rock!) and apply online. If City Year hasn't yet come to your town, start a new site. What a great way to make your city a better place to live.

"Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are." -Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and inventor (1706-1790) [But are any of us really unaffected?]

2 comments:

Sunny Smith said...

In addition to City Year, AmeriCorps has many great volunteer opportunities for a year in service. AmeriCorps is made up of 3 different programs: AmeriCorps*State and National, AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), and AmeriCorps*NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). Together, these programs open the doors for citizens to serve in a variety of ways all over the country. AmeriCorps members address critical needs in communities throughout America, including

* Tutoring and mentoring disadvantaged youth
* Fighting illiteracy
* Improving health services
* Building affordable housing
* Teaching computer skills
* Cleaning parks and streams
* Managing or operating after-school programs
* Helping communities respond to disasters
* Building organizational capacity

Some of the programs are for full-time residential service assignments, others are non-residential, and still others can be done part-time. Full-time members who complete their year in service earn an award of $4,725 to put towards college, graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans. Members who serve part-time receive a partial award. You can learn more about AmeriCorps at http://www.americorps.org

Karama said...

Hi Sunny,

Thanks for the reminder about the merits of AmeriCorps! My husband is a former AmeriCorps volunteer, and my dad worked with AmeriCorps/Vista volunteers years ago to start a rural health clinic. I've written about AmeriCorps here, here, and here, but it's about time AmeriCorps got a post of its own. I'll get to work on that.

Thanks for the suggestion, and for your continued reading. Come back again soon, Sunny, and spread the word!