Category Archives: Americorps News

Current events and news about Americorps

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Looks like Obama and the gang have done good: Senate Moves To Triple Americorps

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Michelle Obama and Americorps

In the US News article, “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Michelle Obama,” was this note:

5. In the early 1990s, following the death of both her father and a close friend from college, Michelle reassessed her life. Rethinking her career path, she decided to leave the corporate law world to work in public service. She took a job in the mayor’s office and then in the city’s office of planning and development. In 1993, Michelle became the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago, an AmeriCorps national service program that provided training to young adults pursuing careers in the public sector.

It looks like public services is a deep vein in the Obama family. Always good to know.

Bill Clinton remembers Eli J. Segal at Brandeis University speech

On December 4th, as part of the kick-off speech for the new Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program lecture series at Brandeis, Bill Clinton reminisced about his friendship with the late Eli J. Segal, architect and original head of the Americorps program. The presentation included video footage of Segal speaking about his friendship with Clinton.

“I was just thinking all over again what an astonishing human being he was,” Clinton told the crowd.

“He had a quality that was relatively rare in public service, government service, at the time. He could take a vision and turn it into a reality.”

The new leadership program is divided into 3 parts:

The Eli J. Segal Citizen Service Fellowship will provide stipends to create 15 summer internships at Brandeis, in which students will serve with selected non-profits and other organizations dedicated to public service.

The Segal Fellows Network will serve to connect Segal Fellows and others who have been recognized in programs created in Segal’s honor, as well as Americorps Alums, in an effort to foster relationships that will boost community service efforts and effectiveness, and make the Segal Fellowship credential more valuable and useful.

The Eli J. Segal Memorial Lecture will provide lectures from prominent leaders – including policy makers, service leaders, social entrepreneurs, Segal Network members, etc. – speaking on the subjects of civic leadership and public service.

John Edwards signs pledge to expand national service

After a stop at a House Party in Dover, presidential hopeful John Edwards signed the Presidential Pledge to Expand National Service (pdf). Woohoo! (OTOH, John McCain declined to sign even while acknowledging that Americorps volunteers were “the best we ever had.” An action which makes obvious sense…wait, what?)

In short, the pledge promises to expand Americorps service positions by 100,000, to support policies that make it easier for folks to serve 4,000 hours (2 years) to national service, to promote service learning in schools, to support and expand the Peace Corps, and to increase service opportunities to seniors.

Read about this momentous event, and the tenacious work of ServeNext member Tate that it took to get it done, at the ServeNext blog, BlogNext.

Americorps Alums speed link post

Here are just a few things crossing my radar of interest to current members and Americorps Alums.

The Indiana University of Bloomington is starting up a new student association for students who are Americorps members or Alums. Their first meeting will be the 11th, and free pizza is on offer. (Ah, free food…the most effective Americorps bait there is.) Anyway, to check it out, drop by the IUB blog for more information.

The Americorps Alums site is launching a new book club to encourage conversation and community dialogue among Alums.

Check out the new My Americorps site, where members can learn all about how to access your educational award online, generate tax documents and proof of service papers, and other stuff relating to using the Segal Americorps Education Award. Warning – I tried to log in to my account just now and it never seemed to load. Dunno if it’s a “right now” issue or an ongoing problem.

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Homework club vandalized

The Pisgah View Homework Club I was assigned to this last year was broken into recently. The latest ChildrenFirst Newsletter carried a short piece about it and a call for donations to replace what was gone:

PVA Vandalized

The Project MARCH Homework Club at Pisgah View Apartments was vandalized and some items were stolen. The break-in occurred during the recess between the summer enrichment program and the upcoming start of the after-school program. Stephanie Johnson, Project MARCH Coordinator, creatively used the temporary boards placed over the broken windows to reinforce the positive message that Project MARCH exemplifies in the Pisgah View community (see photo).

Following is a wish list of items needed before the club reopens. Please call 828-259-9717 if you can donate or purchase any of these items for the Homework Club.

Cordless phone and answering machine
Set of Motorola walkie-talkies for staff
Board games – especially Mancala
Sporting goods – basketballs, soccer balls, jump ropes, tennis ball with the velcro “mits,” other appropriate outdoor recreational equipment for elementary-age children
BrainQuest (2nd grade and up)
Five long folding tables and 12 folding chairs

The fact that the thieves took our heavily used board games and sporting equipment leads me to think it was teenagers (or stupid grownups who haven’t bothered to grow up) who thought their life just wouldn’t be complete without filling their closets with used and beaten-up toys stolen from children. Your average hardened crackheads wouldn’t have bothered hauling out half of that stuff, as there’s not much street value in an abused board game or BrainQuest books.

!#%*&*!! losers. Hope they’re happy. ‘Cause stealing toys from kids who don’t have all that much to begin with just so you can get a taste of some of that sweet, sweet Mancala goodness (missing pieces and all)…well, that’s just how you bring it on the street, dog.

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