AmeriCorps Celebrates Opening Day, 100 Members Take Oath of Service
LITTLE ROCK – In the midst of a festive, jubilant atmosphere, more than 100 AmeriCorps members serving Arkansas collectively took the oath of service during Opening Day as the national group celebrated its one-millionth member!
Opening Day at the Clinton Presidential Center was a joint venture between AmeriCorps and City Year, celebrating the concepts of community service and being a trustworthy leader, as the new members pledged to serve over the next 365 days. AmeriCorps is also known as the domestic Peace Corps and is a part of the Division of Community Service and Nonprofit Support with the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
AmeriCorps members and volunteers serve with national and community nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, schools, and local agencies to help meet community needs in education, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, economic opportunity, disaster services, and supporting veterans and military families. In Arkansas, AmeriCorps members serve with Boys and Girls Club, City Year, Our House, Teach for America, and several more groups.
President Bill Clinton sent remarks that were read at the ceremony to mark this monumental achievement for AmeriCorps:
“AmeriCorps members represent the very best of America, and I know that those taking their pledges today will continue to build on the tremendous legacy of those who have come before them. Thanks to them for answering this call to action.”
Several special speakers were on hand, including Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, Little Rock School District Superintendent Michael Poore and DHS Program Management Consultant Ashley Moses.
An AmeriCorps alumna, Moses acknowledged that the opportunity to speak during Opening Day rekindled her passion for serving the citizens of Arkansas.
“Speaking at this event was exciting for me,” Moses said. “it reenergized me seeing so many young people committing to a year of community service through AmeriCorps and makes me happy about the future of our community.”
During the oration, Moses referenced how AmeriCorps impacted her life, inspired her to be a compassionate servant of the people, and led to her pursuing her overall calling.
Moses – who urged members of AmeriCorps and City Year to accept the challenge of being a community leader and to build relationships with their peers – also enjoyed the task of leading the AmeriCorps Pledge.
“As an AmeriCorps alum I love that I had the chance to share my story with the current members,” she said. “Hopefully I gave them advice they could take with them throughout the year as they continue to learn and grow.”
A self-proclaimed AmeriCorps fanatic, Moses stated that the organization presents a multitude of community service opportunities.
“The beautiful thing about AmeriCorps I tell people is, no matter what your interest, skill or aspiration, there’s a program out there for you,” she expressed.
About AmeriCorps Arkansas: AmeriCorps Arkansas provides opportunities for citizens of all abilities and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through programs like AmeriCorps State, AmeriCorps VISTA, City Year, National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), FEMA Corps, Delta Corps and Senior Corps. Members and volunteers serve with national and community nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, schools, and local agencies to help meet community needs in education, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, economic opportunity, disaster services, and supporting veterans and military families.
About City Year: City Year is dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members provide high-impact student, classroom and school-wide supports to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success. A recent third party study showed that schools that partner with City Year were up to two to three times more likely to improve on Math and English assessments. A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, local school districts, and private philanthropy from corporations, foundations and individuals. Learn more at www.cityyear.org, City Year’s Facebook page, and on Twitter.
About City Year Opening Day Nationally: In 28 cities nationwide, over 3,000 City Year AmeriCorps members will swear in on Opening Day to focus on improving overall school climate and providing individual support to students to help them stay in school and on track to graduate high school, ready for college and career success. Working side-by-side with teachers, City Year AmeriCorps members use research-based tools and techniques to help improve students’ attendance, behavior, and course performance. City Year’s Opening Day is sponsored nationally by Comcast NBCUniversal at all 28 City Year locations.