Service Year Alliance Announces National Service Community Challenge Grant Recipients


Service Year Alliance Announces National Service Community Challenge Grant Recipients

Service Year Alliance, with support from the Mott Foundation, is awarding four $25,000 grants to communities using national service to address local needs. 

WASHINGTON, DC (November 8, 2021) – Service Year Alliance announced today the recipients of $100,000 in National Service Community Challenge Grants. The four $25,000 awards, made possible through a grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, are designed to help new and existing community collaboratives attract sustainable local funding as they use national service as a strategy to address local needs. Each recipient has until April 2022 to secure a 1:1 financial match.

“Our Community Challenge Grants are an opportunity to invest in community collaboratives that are taking an innovative approach to making national service a common expectation and opportunity for all,” said Kristen Bennett, Chief Strategy Officer at Service Year Alliance. “Inspired by the work of the Flint National Service Accelerator, these grant recipients represent an impressive group of committed organizations who are at the forefront of community collaboration and all share a passion for utilizing national service to tackle local challenges. We look forward to seeing their visions and strategies come to life.”

Each of the four grant recipients represents a community that has identified a need, the necessary stakeholders to address that challenge, and a clear and collaborative approach to utilizing national service. 

The 2021 National Service Community Challenge Grant recipients are: 

  • North Country, New Hampshire
    • Campus Compact for New Hampshire will build national service infrastructure in the under-resourced and rural northernmost counties of the state. Stakeholders have identified where national service can address unmet community needs — such as kindergarten readiness and building a talent pipeline in the community. 
  • Illinois
    • The Serve Illinois Commission, representing the state of Illinois, will launch the Life Progressive Initiative to expand access to young people of color. The program will create a resource center and professional development during and for up to a year post-service. 
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • The Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service, which co-leads the National Service Task Force and Service Year Impact Community in the city with PennSERVE, the state service commission, will launch the National Service Diversity Accelerator Fellowship. The Fellowship will create a long-term fund for pathways to national service for those who would not have access otherwise.
  • South Carolina
    • The United Way Association of South Carolina, the state service commission, will focus on expanding recruitment and access to service through HBCU engagement and launching an ambassadors program on campus. In addition, they will provide wraparound support, including an emergency fund for corps members who might not be able to finish their service.   

“National service can transform communities by helping them tackle their local priorities — from education and economic revitalization to disaster response and public health,” said Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation. “Mott is happy to support Service Year Alliance and these challenge grants, which will put the Flint Accelerator model into action in four additional communities.”

“Campus Compact for New Hampshire is delighted and grateful to receive one of four national grants to support developing national service programming in northern New Hampshire,” says CCNH Executive Director Debby Scire. “The grant will help us implement a sustainable infrastructure for AmeriCorps programs in the North Country. Our members will meet community needs while gaining hands-on training and experience and boosting the local talent pipeline. This grant will support CCNH’s innovative work across multiple stakeholders to support children and families in NH’s most rural communities.”

“​​The Serve Illinois Commission is honored to be a recipient of this grant,” said Ayoka Samuels, Executive Director of the Serve Illinois Commission. “This support gives us the opportunity to serve our young adult Illinoisans, specifically those who are people of color, in a greater, more meaningful way. Because of the National Service Community Challenge Grant, more of them will get the support they need to be the adults that we need them to be and the ones they want to be. I am so proud to be a part of this work with the Service Year Alliance and the Mott Foundation.”

“In Philadelphia, we value and see service years as a framework for building community-based, sustainable solutions to our city’s most pressing needs. We are excited to work towards reducing barriers to service years and expanding these opportunities so that any Philadelphian has the ability to contribute to positive change in their own communities,” said Amanda Gamble, the Chief Service Officer for the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement & Volunteer Service.

“The people of South Carolina and their communities have a relationship that can be described as mutualistic when national service is introduced into the culture. As we raise awareness and recruit young people to give back, we know that our communities will grow stronger and that an ethic of service will be fostered in those that serve,” said Carson Carroll, Executive Director of the SC Service Commission. “The funds provided through the Challenge Grant allow us to ensure that individuals across the state realize that serving as an AmeriCorps member is an opportunity available to everyone, despite economic, demographic, or financial barriers. This fund provides an opportunity to increase recruitment and provide additional support to members already serving in communities across South Carolina.”

Service Year Alliance launched the National Service Community Challenge Grants at the Flint Convening in early August 2021. Learn more about the National Service Community Challenge Grants here. Feel free to contact [email protected] with additional questions.  


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. To achieve our mission, Service Year Alliance develops and documents evidence in priority focus areas to persuade decision makers to increase public and private investments in the service year ecosystem. We build coalitions and foster strategic corporate, community, and research partnerships and develop service year programs and resources in priority focus areas to strengthen the case for service years. We advance policy proposals that unlock public funds for service years to create the opportunity for all young Americans to serve. We elevate service years as an experience that transforms lives, strengthens communities, and fuels civic renewal. Finally, we manage, a technology platform that matches those who want to serve with paid service year opportunities. Learn more at

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Service Year Alliance Announces National Service Community Challenge Grant Recipients
Service Year Alliance Announces National Service Community Challenge Grant Recipients
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