Civic leaders, community groups, and elected officials joined the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) today for a dedication of the new AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) Atlantic Region Campus in the former Sacred Heart of Mary School of Baltimore, MD.
AmeriCorps NCCC brings young men and women 18 to 24 years old together with one goal -- to serve when and where they're needed. After completing training on one of five regional campuses, these AmeriCorps members live and serve together for 10 months to tackle pressing local problems in communities across the country. Their work is wide ranging, from responding to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvements, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development.
“When these young leaders go into a community, they become part of that community. I assure you that Baltimore will be proud of what future AmeriCorps NCCC teams accomplish in Maryland and other states as a result of the training they receive at this new campus,” said CNCS CEO Wendy Spencer.
Spencer was joined at the ribbon-cutting ceremony by U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Archbishop William E. Lori of the Baltimore Archdiocese, AmeriCorps NCCC Director Kate Raftery, and national service alumni, including two members of the original Civilian Conservation Corps established nearly 80 years ago.
“AmeriCorps volunteers are unflagging, unflinching and determined to make a difference. They tackle the toughest problems in our communities, responding to emergency and disaster situations like Super-Storm Sandy,” said Sen. Mikulski. “I fought to create AmeriCorps, I fought to strengthen AmeriCorps, and I'm proud to dedicate this new NCCC campus to establish an even stronger AmeriCorps program in Baltimore. By partnering with our faith-based community to bring the NCCC to the Sacred Heart of Mary, we are continuing in a tradition of working together toward a common purpose to meet a compelling human need.”
“We are really very, very pleased that AmeriCorps has found a new home here and will be our neighbor at Sacred Heart of Mary,” Archbishop Lori said. He expressed delight that the school will “continue to serve as a beacon of hope, as a center of education, and an asset to the entire community.”
Mayor Rawlings-Blake welcomed NCCC to its new home, noting that “460 members have given more than 90,000 hours of service since 2009 -- and that's 90,000 hours spent making Baltimore a better, safer, and stronger city. And for that, I'm grateful.”
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley sent a citation commemorating the event that read, “In recognition of your outstanding record of success and achievements in strengthening communities and developing leaders through direct, team-based national and community service … the people of Maryland join together in expressing our gratitude and great respect for your positive contributions to our state and nation.”
The Atlantic Region Campus is moving from its current location in Perryville, MD, which hosts more than 160 AmeriCorps NCCC members each year. CNCS officials anticipate the new facility could house as many as 240 members annually. The campus serves 11 states – Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont, in addition to the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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