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AmeriCorps

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.

The Service News Digest is a regular feature on the Serve.Gov blog. In this series, we showcase news highlights that feature national service and Corporation for National and Community Service programs. Take a look at some of the great stories that had people talking recently.

AmeriCorps Week, held this year March 10 to 18, is traditionally an opportunity for the Corporation for National and Community Service and AmeriCorps grantees to celebrate members in service and build community awareness for the impact of AmeriCorps. In recent years, it has also been an opportunity for AmeriCorps Alums, Points of Light's enterprise engaging alumni of national service, to accentuate their passion for service and their continued commitment to a lifetime in service.

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.

Since 1994, AmeriCorps members have given more than one billion hours and mobilized tens of millions of volunteers to help their fellow citizens. AmeriCorps Week (March 10-March 18) recognizes their commitment and impact.

Throughout time, a community has often determined the success or failure of its members. A youth’s environment shapes the adult they will become, so it is critical that young people are surrounded by positive role models and caring adults in a nurturing community.

Recently discharged veterans shouldn't have to struggle to find work when they return home from
service, but they often do. AmeriCorps VISTA Heather Hays is helping vets make the most of a program
that lets them serve their country in a new way while placing them on a pathway to permanent
employment.

After defending our country in locations all around the world, many veterans find more battles await
them when they return home. A new initiative was announced today to support and ease the
reintegration of returning service members, veterans, and their families as they search for jobs and
support services.

In the spring of 2011, a Marine stood on the porch steps of his new home in Annapolis, MD. He was not
thinking about the beautiful row house that he would now share with his wife and four children, but was
looking down at the porch that he helped build with his own hands. He was contemplating his spirit of
service with a renewed vigor and hope.

Paul Reickhoff, president and CEO of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, has an idea about a great, untapped American resource. He believes national service models based on AmeriCorps to harness and leverage the skills of military veterans and can “help people think about us as the cavalry, not as a problem.

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