FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday June 27, 2017
Rep. Peter Welch at Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
WASHINGTON, DC (June 27, 2017) – Yesterday, in response to the White House’s budget proposal, Vermont leaders and alumni of national service programs joined Service Year Alliance to call for the protection and expansion of national service. The President’s budget for Fiscal Year 2018 threatens to eliminate national service programs like AmeriCorps and dramatically cuts the Peace Corps.
“Service Year Alliance was honored to join Rep. Welch, Mayor Lauzon, and several Vermont leaders to call for the expansion of critical national service programs like AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and YouthBuild,” said Laura Thompson, Northeast Regional Field Director at Service Year Alliance. “From increasing safe and affordable housing, to fighting poverty and preserving the state's scenic landscape, Vermont has witnessed the power of national service in action. We should be expanding — not eliminating — national service programs that have a critical impact in Vermont and across the country.”
More than 5,100 Vermont residents have served with AmeriCorps since its creation, with over 340 young people serving every year across the state today.
“Having served in the first class of Robert F. Kennedy Fellows, I experienced first-hand the benefit of service to others, for both the volunteers and the communities they serve,” said Rep. Welch. “National service programs like Americorps help build stronger, healthier communities, while providing an opportunity to young people to gain valuable work experience and leadership skills.”
Joining Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Service Year Alliance at the event were Former State Representative Kesha Ram (D-VT), Mayor Thom Lauzon of Barre (R-VT), State Representative Marcia Gardner (D-VT), Executive Director of SerVermont, Philip Kolling, and AmeriCorps alumni and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. The event took place at Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, a SerVermont AmeriCorps program that teaches youth personal responsibility by engaging them in high-priority conservation and agricultural projects.