FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, February 12, 2018
WASHINGTON, DC (February 12, 2018) – “National service is indispensable. The 75,000 young people who serve every year with national service programs like AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and YouthBuild are at the forefront of some of the biggest challenges facing the American people — from disaster relief and the opioid epidemic to education inequality and workforce development,” said Shirley Sagawa, CEO of Service Year Alliance. “In the wake of last year’s countless natural disasters, we witnessed the tremendous value of national service in action. Thousands of young people serving with AmeriCorps were deployed to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands where they quickly became the backbone of our disaster recovery efforts. Hundreds of these dedicated Americans are still on the scene today, supporting communities like Houston and Puerto Rico as they struggle to rebuild.”
“Plain and simple, the Administration’s budget proposal is completely out of touch with the American people. The proposal calls for the elimination of the Corporation for National and Community Service — the federal agency that oversees AmeriCorps. However, more than eighty percent of Democrats and Republicans support the federal investment in national service and four out of five millennials are interested in serving. With this unprecedented level of broad, bipartisan support, we should be dramatically expanding our investment in national service and responding to the will of the American people,” said Sagawa.
“Serving our country — at home and abroad — is the most American thing young people can do. Throughout history, service has been the glue that binds us together — it has given us the strength we need to overcome our greatest obstacles. That feeling of unity is needed now more than ever. We should be doing everything in our power to increase national service opportunities so that every young person who raises their hand to serve has the opportunity to do so.”
Sagawa: “It’s time for us to move this national conversation forward and create a new social contract for the 21st century: if you invest in your country, your country will invest in you. We are eager to work with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to restore this commitment and expand opportunities to serve for all young Americans.”