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Ripon Society: Every American Should Serve for a Year

For decades, we’ve expected young Americans to graduate high school, go to college, and then get a job. Somewhere along the way, though, our institutions lost the trust of the next generation and they began to question the value of this path.  

It’s time to rethink the path to success for our nation’s youth and rebuild trust along the way by prioritizing opportunities that bring people from different backgrounds together through a shared goal and common purpose. 

Every young person in America should spend a year in national service.  

As an AmeriCorps VISTA alum, my year of service taught me first-hand about the power of national service to launch youth on pathways to success, transform communities, and bring people together.

Ripon Society: Every American Should Serve for a Year
Ripon Society: Every American Should Serve for a Year

An Update on the Serve America Together Campaign

An Update from Kristen Bennett, CEO of Service Year Alliance on the Serve America Together Campaign: 

Service Year Alliance launched the Serve America Together campaign during the 2020 presidential primary to urge the presidential candidates to help make national service part of growing up in America. 

Against the backdrop of enormous challenges for our country — a global pandemic, overwhelming polarization and division, and an uncertain economic situation — the campaign won tremendous successes...

...As part of our organization’s new strategic direction, and ahead of the upcoming midterms when we expect the political winds to shift, we are winding down the Serve America Together campaign. It was always intended to be a time-bound effort to inform the next President’s priorities, and we’ve reached the outer bounds of that timeframe. But our vision to make national service part of growing up in America is not lost. In fact, Service Year Alliance as an organization has adopted the campaign’s vision as our organization’s overall vision — it’s what our team wakes up every morning working to make a reality... 

An Update on the Serve America Together Campaign
An Update on the Serve America Together Campaign

A New Era for National Service Will Boost Our Democracy, Economy & Environment

America is grappling with existential questions about the future of our democracy, economy, and environment. Meanwhile, we lack access to people who are different from ourselves, creating a breeding ground for division and hate. 

It’s time to rethink the role young people play in solving these key challenges. But we can’t just look to the next generation and expect them to solve issues that are deeply embedded in our culture. Instead, we must empower them with new ways to lead and pave a path toward a future where they feel prepared to become the future employers, politicians, educators, neighbors, citizens, and engaged leaders that America needs...

...Spending a year in national service develops empathetic civic leaders, builds skills for success in a changing economy, and offers solutions for creating more resilient and sustainable communities — and we should do everything in our power to make it an opportunity for all...

 

A New Era for National Service Will Boost Our Democracy, Economy & Environment
A New Era for National Service Will Boost Our Democracy, Economy & Environment

Statement on President Biden's Call for National Service at the United We Stand Summit

Service Year Alliance released the following statement in response to President Biden’s call for a new era of national service at the United We Stand Summit:

“President Biden’s call for a new era of national service today at the United We Stand Summit was a massive victory for our vision of making national service part of growing up in America. Service Year Alliance applauds President Biden for this bold call to action — and specifically for calling for a $15/hour living allowance for all AmeriCorps members..."

Statement on President Biden's Call for National Service at the United We Stand Summit
Statement on President Biden's Call for National Service at the United We Stand Summit

Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Resources for Service Year Alums

Recent changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program have expanded eligibility for service year alumni, making it faster to obtain student loan forgiveness for those working in public and non-profit careers.

The U.S. Department of Education released a waiver which allows student loan borrowers to count their term of service, including Peace Corps and AmeriCorps service, towards the ten years required to obtain PSLF — even if you put loans in forbearance or deferment and/or did not make qualifying payments during your service term. The waiver generally qualifies service alumni as under economic hardship during their service term, making them eligible to count their service term towards PSLF requirements. This waiver expires on Oct. 31 — apply today! 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness: FAQs for Service Year Alums
Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Resources for Service Year Alums

Partnership for the Civilian Climate Corps Issues Statement on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

The Partnership for the Civilian Climate Corps released the following statement regarding the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022:

The Partnership for the Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) is optimistic about Congress’ commitment to tackling the climate crisis with a much-needed down payment to reduce emissions, lower energy costs, and create jobs in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. 

Unfortunately, the 300,000 member Civilian Climate Corps, a cornerstone of the Presidential and Congressional climate agenda, was not included in the bill. We are encouraged by this down payment that will help our country reach our climate goals, including resources that prioritize environmental justice, an energy efficiency training program, and investing in clean energy technology, public lands, forests, and other conservation and mitigation projects. These Inflation Reduction Act investments need national service, AmeriCorps, and workforce training providers to serve as an accelerator and catalyst for lasting change.

The PCCC statement on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
Partnership for the Civilian Climate Corps Issues Statement on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

Partnership for the Civilian Climate Corps Issues Statement on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

The Partnership for the Civilian Climate Corps released the following statement regarding the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022:

The Partnership for the Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) is optimistic about Congress’ commitment to tackling the climate crisis with a much-needed down payment to reduce emissions, lower energy costs, and create jobs in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. 

Unfortunately, the 300,000 member Civilian Climate Corps, a cornerstone of the Presidential and Congressional climate agenda, was not included in the bill. We are encouraged by this down payment that will help our country reach our climate goals, including resources that prioritize environmental justice, an energy efficiency training program, and investing in clean energy technology, public lands, forests, and other conservation and mitigation projects. These Inflation Reduction Act investments need national service, AmeriCorps, and workforce training providers to serve as an accelerator and catalyst for lasting change.

The PCCC statement on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
Partnership for the Civilian Climate Corps Issues Statement on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

Service Year Alliance statement in response to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

Service Year Alliance released statement in response to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022:

Service Year Alliance is disheartened by Congress’ failure to include the proposed 300,000 member Civilian Climate Corps in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. 

We are encouraged by Congress’ investments in meeting our country’s ambitious climate goals by reducing emissions, investing in environmental justice, and supporting the growing clean energy sector, and we encourage Congress to quickly pass this bill to accelerate our efforts to combat climate change. But if these investments are to be successful and meet the long-term needs of the climate crisis, we must also give future generations an opportunity to take action and intentionally invest in workforce and talent pipelines to fill these new jobs in the clean energy industry.  

Service Year Alliance statement in response to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
Service Year Alliance statement in response to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

Service Year Alliance Releases New Equity Agenda

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Media Contact: Aly Ferguson, [email protected]

Service Year Alliance Releases New Equity Agenda with Recommendations for Improving the Accessibility of National Service

WASHINGTON, DC (July 13, 2022) – Service Year Alliance released an equity agenda today detailing recommendations for improving the accessibility of national service, including programs like AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps. The report, Equity Agenda: Recommendations for Improving the Accessibility of National Service, outlines suggestions to make national service more equitable and accessible for potential corps members from diverse and underserved communities, as well as to increase the accessibility of AmeriCorps grantmaking for nonprofits from those communities.

Service Year Alliance Releases New Equity Agenda
Service Year Alliance Releases New Equity Agenda

Service Year Alliance Announces Kristen Bennett as CEO, Launches New Strategic Plan and Vision for National Service Under New Leadership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Media Contact: Aly Ferguson, [email protected]

Service Year Alliance Announces Kristen Bennett as CEO, Launches New Strategic Plan and Vision for National Service Under New Leadership

Bennett, an AmeriCorps VISTA alum and formerly Service Year Alliance’s interim co-CEO and Chief Strategy Officer, brings nearly 15 years of national service experience to the organization and commits to a new era focused on equity and post-service success

WASHINGTON, DC (June 29, 2022) – Service Year Alliance announced today that Kristen Bennett has been named CEO. A leader at Service Year Alliance since its founding — most recently as Chief Strategy Officer and interim co-CEO — Kristen brings nearly 15 years of national service experience and an in-depth understanding of the sector to the role as national service launches into a new era. The hiring of Bennett as CEO accompanies the launch of Service Year Alliance’s new strategic plan focused on reimagining the national service field and modernizing and improving the corps member experience, so those who serve are successful during and after their service year. 

Service Year Alliance Announces Kristen Bennett as CEO, Launches New Strategic Plan and Vision for National Service Under New Leadership
Service Year Alliance Announces Kristen Bennett as CEO, Launches New Strategic Plan and Vision for National Service Under New Leadership
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