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AmeriCorps

Community leader and labor activist Cesar Chavez once said that, “If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him ... The people who give you their food give you their heart."

Next week more than 730 mayors, collectively representing nearly 100 million Americans in all 50 states, will join together to recognize the impact of national service participants in AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs who are making a difference in their communities.

Today, 832 mayors from big cities to small towns and everything in between are participating in the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. What a great way to highlight the many ways that AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers demonstrate the power that every citizen has to make a difference

Every October, millions of people across the nation volunteer their time during Make A Difference Day to make their communities better places to live. This week, 10 projects and three cities will be honored with Make A Difference Awards, and several national service participants – including two AmeriCorps members – will be recognized.

On March 17th and 18th, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake and the Corporation for National and Community Service teamed up with more than 125 veterans, active duty military, and AmeriCorps members to help build and rehabilitate homes in Annapolis and Baltimore.

As the Executive Director of AmeriCorps Alums, the national network for all AmeriCorps national service alumni, I'm often asked how Alums are leveraging the AmeriCorps experience after their year of service. Today, we're launching a series on the Serve.gov blog to answer those questions and more.

Year-round AmeriCorps Alums, the national network for all alumni of national service, seeks to positively support and impact the professional life of its members. It is fitting tribute then that this year's AmeriCorps Week theme is AmeriCorps Works, perfectly aligning with the mission of AmeriCorps Alums.

National service is one of America's most hallowed traditions. As Alexis De Tocqueville noted in 1835, we are a nation of joiners. Ours is a country where people take collective action for the good of all.

I began my AmeriCorps journey when I was recruited into the program by the Community Action Agency in Annapolis, MD. My first job was to create a mentoring system for families of Head Start students. The next year, I continued serving in the program by training others in mentoring as a regional coordinator, and I returned for a third year with AmeriCorps to lead the program as a state coordinator with Volunteer Maryland.

Today, to celebrate AmeriCorps Week, I served with a group of volunteers – including five enthusiastic AmeriCorps members – at a Habitat for Humanity build site in Washington, DC.

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