Nicole Gallant and Bill Poston join Service Year Alliance’s Board of Directors
Gallant and Poston bring both personal and professional connections to the organization’s mission of making a year of paid, full-time service an expectation and opportunity for all young Americans
WASHINGTON, DC (May 22, 2023) – Service Year Alliance announced two new additions to its board of directors today: Nicole Gallant, founder of the Downie Street Collective, and Bill Poston, founding partner of The Launch Box. Gallant, an AmeriCorps alum and social change consultant, and Poston, an entrepreneur and business leader whose children both did a service year, join the organization with a deep commitment to bringing to life the organization’s vision of making national service part of growing up in America.
Federal agencies have a major opportunity to leverage national service as a tool to address the challenges confronting our nation, building agency capacity, developing talent pipelines, and building social cohesion through shared service experience. At the United We Stand summit in September 2022, President Biden recognized the potential for interagency national service partnerships to build a stronger civic fabric and unite communities in the wake of hate-based violence. Through the commitments made at last year’s summit, the Administration seeks to weave national service into multiple agencies’ work and ensure that they are effectively and efficiently coordinating and potentially infusing national service through the implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.
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.”
Service Year Alliance hosted a webinar session with the Corps Network highlighting our work examining energy efficiency program models within the national service ecosystem.
In addition to featuring innovative best practices that existing energy efficiency corps can consider adopting, we also provided an overview of the variety of partners and service models that can be leveraged to stand-up new programming across the country.
On Wednesday, March 8, Service Year Alliance hosted a workshop session at The Corps Network conference discussing the best ways to mobilize corps members and recent alums to support recruitment efforts and track the impact on program recruitment. This session explores ways to engage corps members in recruitment efforts, including through leveraging incentivized referrals, trackable referral codes, storytelling efforts, and more. Along with presenting some strategies and ideas, this session also incorporated opportunities for participants to interact and share strategies they’ve leveraged for engaging their corps members in recruitment.
Service Year Alliance’s Statement on President Biden's FY24 Budget Request:
“President Biden’s bold budget request — which calls for a robust 13 percent increase in funding for AmeriCorps, a 15 percent increase to the Peace Corps, a 38 percent increase to YouthBuild, and a $20 million investment in establishing the Civilian Climate Corps through a partnership with the Department of Labor, AmeriCorps, and other federal agencies — is a critical step toward making national service part of growing up in America. Service Year Alliance applauds the president for continuing to make good on his Administration’s commitments to national service,” said Kristen Bennett, CEO of Service Year Alliance. “The proposed increase to AmeriCorps would allow for continued increases to AmeriCorps members’ living allowance, moving closer to President Biden’s call for a $15/hour living allowance at the United We Stand summit last fall. This commitment, along with multiple equity-focused proposals in his budget request related to expanding non-competitive eligibility to all AmeriCorps members, making the education award accessible for DACA recipients, eliminating the tax on the Segal Education Award, and other essential improvements that will strengthen national service and lay the foundation, so that one day all young Americans have the opportunity to serve. We strongly urge Congress to work toward an appropriations package that meets the President’s budget request and continues the long legacy of bipartisan support for national service.”
Meet Geri Lopez — a member of the White Earth tribe in Central Minnesota. Geri's service year as an AmeriCorps member with Ampact’s Home Energy Initiative armed her with the skills she needed to secure her job as a Weatherization Auditor at at MAHUBE-OTWA Community Action Partnership.
On International Women's Day, Geri shared her service year story on stage in Miami at Aspen Ideas: Climate...
Service Year Alliance’s testimony in support of Maryland’s Serving Every Region Through Vocational Exploration (SERVE) Act:
Service Year Alliance is pleased to support House Bill 546, the SERVE Act, which would create a service year option for Maryland high school graduates. Service Year Alliance is a national nonprofit which seeks to make a service year — a paid opportunity to develop real-world skills through hands-on service — an expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. Our organization supports service year programs across the country with tools and resources to help elevate and expand the service year field. Service years transform lives, offering young people postsecondary pathways into college and career and building talent pipelines into the public and nonprofit sectors. Service years also meet urgent community needs in areas like education, conservation, clean energy, public health, re-entry services, and much more. As Governor Moore expressed in his State of the State address, service years can help to rebuild our country’s social fabric, bringing individuals together across lines of difference as the “antidote to loneliness and otherness.”
Governor Moore’s proposed Service Year Option will make Maryland a model for the country in offering service year opportunities specifically targeted for high school graduates and those who have earned their GED. As outlined, the Service Year Option will offer a host of high-quality benefits and wraparound support services, including compensating participants at $15 per hour, a post-service stipend, mentoring and networking opportunities with fellow participants across the state, and a flexible schedule to make service an accessible and financially feasible option for those with caregiving and other commitments. This high-quality program design adopts many of the best practices laid out in Service Year Alliance’s recent Equity Agenda for National Service and is necessary in order to equitably expand service years in Maryland and across the country.
Service Year Alliance released the following statement in response to Governor Wes Moore’s Executive Order on the establishment of the Maryland Department of Service and Civic Innovation:
“Service Year Alliance applauds Governor Moore on his bold action to expand service year opportunities in Maryland. It is energizing to see his campaign commitments and long-time championing of service years come to life on the first day of his administration with an executive order creating the Maryland Department of Service and Civic Innovation. This action elevates service to a cabinet-level agency with a new Secretary overseeing its work to create the Service Year Option, including supporting and expanding service year programs, managing the state service commission, implementing the Maryland Corps, and advising the Governor on service. This executive order positions Maryland as a service leader, joining a small number of states that have instituted a cabinet-level position focused on service.
On Thursday, December 1, Brookings Metro and Service Year Alliance hosted an event to explore this infrastructure workforce opportunity, with an emphasis on creating a talent pipeline for the energy efficiency sector. The event examined how current service year programs are undertaking energy transition work through strong relationships with state partners, including state energy agencies.
This white paper outlines how service year programs, state service commissions, and state energy agencies can work together to launch clean energy infrastructure programs utilizing service years, and offers new and forthcoming resources which will help to highlight a variety of program models.