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Arizona

59-year-old Lillie Lanser is one of the millions of Americans affected by the economic downturn. She spent years as a legal secretary, but when she was laid off in 2009, Lanser realized that unemployment allowed her to pursue a new direction in her life – service. As a volunteer, she found a passion for giving back and created the Cancer Pilot Transport Program while an RSVP volunteer with Senior Corps.

Native American students and educators face a unique set of circumstances surrounding tribal communities, including poverty, loss of culture and identity, and high suicide rates, all threatening students' academic success.

Madison Street Veterans Association began about three years ago with a group of homeless veterans living in an emergency shelter in Phoenix. The veterans decided that they should band together to improve the conditions in the shelter for themselves and any veterans who showed up in the shelter. What a difference they made!

Youth aren't waiting for the call to serve --they are ready to make their mark today. This last weekend, young people around the world celebrated Global Youth Service Day in 100 countries on six continents as children, teens, and young adults demonstrated why they are the most service-oriented generations ever.

I was inspired early in life to try to make a mark on the world. And even though I'm a bit of a natural caretaker -- working as a lifeguard and even helping find jobs for folks suffering from traumatic brain injury -- meetings and organizations just weren't my style.

As military deployments became more common for National Guard and Reserve troops, the emotional
strain hits children left behind especially hard. Operation: Military Kids (OMK) supports military youth
age 5-18 with outreach programs to help them cope with the stresses of being away from their parents
serving far from home.

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