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Media Contact: Aly Ferguson, [email protected]
Service Year Alliance Applauds the Passage of Maryland’s SERVE Act
A signature priority of Governor Wes Moore, the SERVE Act makes Maryland a model for the nation by aiming to make a service year an opportunity for Maryland high school graduates
WASHINGTON, DC (April 12, 2023) – Service Year Alliance released the following statement today applauding the Maryland General Assembly for their swift passage of the SERVE Act on the final day of the Maryland legislative session:
“Service Year Alliance applauds the Maryland General Assembly and Governor Wes Moore’s leadership for the bipartisan passage of the SERVE Act, which would create a service year option for Maryland high school graduates and those completing GED programs. Governor Wes Moore’s signature priority, which will go into effect upon the Governor’s signature, will make Maryland a model for the nation, creating a unique service year program targeting young people at a critical juncture in their personal, academic, and professional journeys,” said Kristen Bennett, CEO of Service Year Alliance. “Service Year Alliance is eager to work with the newly confirmed Maryland Secretary of Service and Civic Innovation, Paul Monteiro, as he implements this monumental and innovative bill in partnership with community-based organizations across the state.”
Bennett: “As Governor Moore declared during his State of the State address, “service is the antidote to the epidemic of loneliness and otherness,” and this new service year option will strengthen the state’s civic fabric through a shared service experience. The program, housed within the state-run Maryland Corps, will build a culture of service in the state, expose Maryland youth to career pathways in the public and nonprofit sectors, and address urgent community needs in education, public health, and climate resilience. We commend Governor Moore, Senate President Ferguson, Speaker Jones, and many other Maryland state legislative champions for their dedication and commitment to creating service year opportunities that provide accessible, high-quality experiences for young Marylanders of all walks of life.”
Service Year Alliance testified in support of the SERVE Act earlier this year, reiterating the power of service years to transform lives, strengthen communities, and fuel civic renewal in Maryland and across the country. The service year option program would offer significant capacity to nonprofit organizations and local government agencies all across the state, helping to meet local needs across certain focus areas including climate, health, and education. With the passage of the SERVE Act, Maryland is poised to lead the nation in equitable and accessible service year opportunities, building professional on-ramps for youth of all backgrounds and creating talent pipelines into the public and nonprofit sector.
With questions or for more information about the SERVE Act and Service Year Alliance’s support, please contact our Director, Government Relations, Melissa Bender 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. We envision a future in which national service is part of growing up in America. As we enter a new era for national service fueled by recent investments in AmeriCorps, we are focused on ensuring these expansions are successful and set the stage for future growth of the field. We identify opportunities for shared recruitment and data systems to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our sector. Finally, we foster collaborative approaches to demonstrate the impact of service years as an experience that transforms lives, strengthens communities, and fuels civic renewal at scale. Learn more about our work at ServiceYearAlliance.org.