Serve America Together is a campaign to make national service part of growing up in America.
The campaign is led by a first-of-its-kind coalition of over a dozen military and civilian service organizations, as well as a group of bipartisan co-chairs including Gen. (Ret.) Stan McChrystal, Howard Schultz, Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Former Congressman Joe Heck, Former Gov. Deval Patrick, Arianna Huffington, Laura Lauder, Andrew Hauptman, and Jeff Huber.
For too long, the burden of our collective freedom and civic responsibility has been carried by the few. The college affordability crisis has left too many students with debt that they’re struggling to repay. Millions of young people are out of work, their talents untapped. Communities across the country face significant unmet challenges including education inequity, disaster relief, aging populations, and substance abuse issues. Americans are more profoundly polarized than any moment in recent history, we are beginning to confront the systemic racism of our institutions, and the country continues to grapple with public health, economic, social, and educational crises as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Imagine a future in which young people earn college tuition by addressing our communities’ greatest challenges — where they are empowered to shape their own destinies, regardless of zip code. Imagine a future in which empathy trumps apathy and participation and problem-solving outmatch indifference. Imagine a shared experience far stronger than anything that may seek to divide us.
This future is entirely achievable if a year of service is part of growing up in America. And the White House, Congress, state and local leaders, business and philanthropic leaders, and every American should be working to make this future a reality. America has been at crossroads like this before. If we are going to achieve this bold vision, we must be audacious in our call to action and make national service a national priority. National service can transform lives, strengthen communities, and fuel civic renewal. Our country can do big things together. And Service Year Alliance is organizing the stakeholders, the strategy, and the movement we need to bring this vision to life.
We believe civilian national service should:
- Exist at scale, engaging at least one million young Americans in civilian national service annually
- Address America’s unmet needs
- Bridge divides and fuel civic renewal
- Be an opportunity for all
- Build pathways to long-term success for individuals who serve through benefits and connectivity to future education and careers