Bridging Divides

Service years bring people together across lines of difference through a shared experience that builds cultural competency and civic engagement, and strengthens social cohesion in America.

America desperately needs to invest in experiences that build empathy and understanding among youth, and a year of service has the potential to develop the next generation of empathetic civic leaders. Service year alums leave their service as more engaged citizens who are more likely to vote, get involved in their community, and feel confident about working with their peers to solve challenges. They are the future employers, politicians, educators, neighbors, citizens, and engaged leaders that America needs. 

Service Years Fuel Civic Renewal
  • 8 out of 10 AmeriCorps alums are, or plan to become, actively involved in their community post-service
  • YouthBuild increases social trust and community orientation among the low-income youth who serve in the program.
  • AmeriCorps, YouthBuild, and Peace Corps alumni vote and volunteer throughout their lives at higher rates than their peers.

"I’m calling for a new era of national service through organizations like AmeriCorps to foster stronger communities and bridge divides in our society."

-President Joe Biden, at the White House's United We Stand Summit, September 2022

WATCH

Service Years + Bridging

In early 2023, Service Year Alliance will kick off a project to create the first collaborative community of practice around national service and bridging. We're aiming to bring the right resources, perspectives, and practices to the table to inform the national service ecosystem.

National service helps to develop bridging behaviors among young people, but the practices that best foster bridging mindsets within national service experiences aren’t well understood. And where these practices are understood, they are unevenly deployed. This project aims to tackle these challenges.

  

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Addressing Local Needs in Your Community
Bridging Divides
Our Vision