Local Leaders Gather for first-ever Service Year Community ChangeMaker Summit


Local Leaders Gather in Washington, DC for first-ever Service Year Community ChangeMaker Summit

Co-hosted by Service Year Alliance and National League of Cities, local leaders from 38 communities to discuss utilizing and expanding service years to meet community needs

WASHINGTON, DC (September 23, 2019) – Today, through September 25, mayors, local leaders, service year programs, and Service Year Impact Communities will gather in Washington, DC at the National League of Cities for Service Year Alliance’s first-ever Community ChangeMaker Summit. Participants from 38 communities across the country will share insights and strategize ways to utilize service years as a powerful, multi-faceted community development tool to solve local needs like education inequity, workforce development, housing, and more. 

“From East Boston to Appalachian Kentucky to Flint, Michigan, Service Year Impact Communities are leading the way in harnessing service years to address critical local needs,” said Jesse Colvin, CEO of Service Year Alliance. “These ten communities are creating blueprints for how to tackle big, systemic issues while making communities stronger and more cohesive. Service years are a powerful mechanism for  workforce development and addressing local needs, and this summit will lay the groundwork for scaling service years so that every city, state, region, and town can utilize this essential community development tool.” 

“The National League of Cities is committed to lifting up cities, towns and villages across the country and one of the ways to do that is by scaling service year opportunities to help those who are willing to pay it forward,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor of Gary, Indiana and President of the National League of Cities. “Tough issues like economic development, infrastructure, and the environment are priorities for cities like Gary, and by creating, implementing, and expanding service year opportunities, communities are making strategic and cost-effective investments that will pay dividends for years to come.”

The 3-day summit will engage chief service officers, state service commission members, elected officials and their staff, service year programs, and those interested in collaborating to bring service years to new communities. 

“How effectively communities tackle challenges is dependent on leadership. Service Year Alliance helps to grow local leaders,” said Chantel Rush, Senior Program Officer at The Kresge Foundation. “Kresge invested in Service Year Alliance to make service years, and their impact, more accessible for all.”

“Philadelphia has a strong history of national service which is reflected in the 2,500 service year corps members who serve our city annually,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “These corps members have some of the most important jobs — tutoring our students, cleaning up our parks, connecting residents to health care resources, and more. As a Service Year Impact Community, we are working to increase the number of full-time opportunities to serve and make service years more accessible to everyone. In Philadelphia, we’ve been able to use service years as a framework for building community-based, sustainable solutions to our city’s most pressing needs, and service year expansion could support similar work in communities across the country.”

The 10 current Service Year Impact Communities that are committed to scaling service years in order to meet local needs include:

  • Appalachian Kentucky
  • Austin, Texas
  • Dallas, Texas
  • East Boston, Massachusetts
  • Flint, Michigan
  • New York, New York
  • North Carolina
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • San Jose, California
  • South Carolina

For more information about the Service Year Community ChangeMaker Summit and to speak with Summit speakers or members of the Service Year Alliance team, please contact Aly Ferguson at [email protected]


About Service Year Alliance
Service Year Alliance is working to make a year of paid, full-time service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. A service year before, during, or after college gives young people the chance to transform their lives, make an impact in their community, and become the active citizens and leaders our nation needs. Expanding service years has the power to revitalize cities, uplift and educate children at risk, and empower communities struggling with poverty. Learn more at ServiceYearAlliance.org.


About National League of Cities
The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Learn more at NLC.org.

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Local Leaders Gather for first-ever Service Year Community ChangeMaker Summit
Local Leaders Gather for first-ever Service Year Community ChangeMaker Summit
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