AmeriCorpsCEO15 karma2023-01-13 18:00:16 UTC
Thank you for the candid question. We work hard everyday to ensure AmeriCorps service provides transformative benefit to the communities where we serve and for the AmeriCorps members themselves. That’s why our more than 1 million alumni tell us their service experience made such a difference in their lives. They saw the near-term impact of their work—helping to address urgent local needs defined by communities—and they saw how their experience gave them a head start and leg up in their career paths.
On my watch—and with full support from President Biden and the Biden Harris Administration—we have also made sure to take a serious look on member benefits. We’ve steadily raised the minimum living allowance, encouraged grantees and their partners to go above and beyond the minimum, and President Biden recently called on Congress to raise the minimum living allowance to $15/hour by 2025.
We have about 60,000 AmeriCorps members, but we also have about 140,000 AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers. Benefits vary quite a bit from program to program—some of these benefits include a living allowance or volunteer stipend, housing, supplemental health insurance, loan deferment, and childcare. And we also know there are benefits around skills training and growing professional networks. Over 40% of alumni who find a job w/in 6 months of service found that job through an AmeriCorps connection. And we know that AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers are healthier, less depressed, and less socially isolated than those who do not serve.
Beyond this effort, we’re sharpening our other benefits. The Segal Education Award is now set to match the Pell Grant. We offer childcare vouchers, loan forbearance, health care (in many programs), training and wrap around supports to help members go from a year of service to a lifetime of service.
I grew up in a low-income community and I know what it means to have the resources you need to be able to serve your community. That’s why making sure AmeriCorps service reflects the diversity of our country and the communities we serve is a personal priority and passion. We’re not where we need to be, but we have our first ever equity plan, strategic plan and road map that confronts these issues head on and will make sure we get to where we need to be.
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AmeriCorpsCEO13 karma2023-01-13 17:08:13 UTC
I’m brand new to Reddit so just learning what communities exist around national service and volunteering. What other communities exist around service?
AmeriCorpsCEO10 karma2023-01-13 17:30:37 UTC
Yes on trends! I mentioned earlier that we publish findings every two years from our Volunteering and Civic Life in America Report – coming out this month. I don’t want to get ahead of data, but one thing is clear is that service and volunteering opportunities need to meet people where they are.
I think about this issue of barriers to service a lot. For example, we have 140,000 AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers who dedicate their time and talent, and we need to make sure they can afford the gas it takes to get to a volunteer opportunity. It’s something we’re working on closely with our colleagues in the Biden-Harris Administration, which has ensured an exponential increase in resources to expand benefits.
I’m also encouraged by the way volunteer and service programs were able to pivot during quarantines and lock downs in the earlier days of the pandemic. Some of the virtual opportunities we saw arise may be more accessible for people who have less time, and I’m optimistic that these will be part of the volunteering landscape going forward.
AmeriCorpsCEO6 karma2023-01-13 17:24:36 UTC
Our 2019 findings show that about a third of Americans volunteer with an organization on a regular basis, and that Utah had the highest volunteer rate with 50% of Americans volunteering through an organization. You can learn more here: Americorps.gov/newsroom/news/via
AmeriCorpsCEO6 karma2023-01-13 17:19:26 UTC
Every two years we publish our Volunteering and Civic Life in America report. The next report will be released this month, which will show how Americans came together during the pandemic.
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