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Is this Seat Taken?

November 24, 2015

lisa 5Today’s guest blog is written by AmeriCorps alumna Lisa Tatum. Lisa serves as the Senior Manager of Disaster Preparedness at VolunteerNow (formerly the Volunteer Center of North Texas), and her service began in 1997 with AmeriCorps NCCC as a Western Region Corps Member (full bio included below the blog).

You can find AmeriCorps members and alums leading social change in classrooms, community centers, nonprofits, healthcare offices, national parks, and pretty much anywhere people are making a difference. So why aren’t more AmeriCorps alumni asking for a seat in the board room? Read more…

Giving Kids a Global Perspective Through Volunteering

November 19, 2015

In honor of Family Volunteer Day, Nov. 21, Points of Light and Disney are recognizing families with the Daily Point of Light Award. Today’s winning family is the Yamaato family of Atlanta, GA, and this post originally appeared on the Points of Light Blog. Joyce Yamaato is an AmeriCorps alumna and a recipient of the AmeriCorps Alums National Leadership Award

Yamaato family for DPOL award

The Yamaato family, parents Brent and Joyce, and siblings Ansley and Jack

Many families who volunteer together spend time interacting with the people they serve. They may visit a nursing home and talk to residents, perhaps, or read to children at a local library.

But for the Yamaato family of Atlanta, focusing on global issues makes that aspect of volunteer service more challenging. Read more…

How an AmeriCorps Alum Becomes a Grad Student

November 18, 2015

Thanks to Schoolhouse Rock, most of us know how a bill become a law (or at least the short, ideal path a bill might take). But, do you know the clearest path to grad school for an AmeriCorps alum who’s already earned an undergraduate degree?

AmeriCorps Alums’ recent survey of alumni showed that two out of three alums wants to pursue additional higher education after AmeriCorps, but only one in three knows how to finance these degrees. If you’re thinking about grad school after serving, check out our 7-step path below to finding the right school for you.

Final Alums Grad School Graphic.png

Also, be sure to sign up for the last 2015 AmeriCorps Alums Virtual Grad School Fair on December 10, 1-4 p.m. EST. More than 20 schools from across the country will be recruiting at our fair and offer programs in education, international studies, social work, public policy, business, and more. Most schools also match the AmeriCorps education award or provide additional benefits to alums. Don’t miss a chance to talk one-on-one with recruiters who help make enrollment decisions. RSVP for the fair today!


Job-Searching? Check Out Who Wants to Hire AmeriCorps Alumni!

November 17, 2015

Nov 5 Career Fair photo for silverpopOn November 5, AmeriCorps Alums hosted a Virtual Career Fair with national employers recruiting AmeriCorps alumni for open roles in education, social work, counseling, sports and recreation, health services, and more! If you missed the opportunity to talk one-on-one with recruiters at the fair, check out all the featured employers and open jobs you can still explore!

Featured Employers & Jobs
Employers of National Service have a (*) by their name

Read more…

AmeriCorps Needs You — Stand for Service Today!

November 16, 2015

Ben and Mary HeadshotToday’s guest blog is written by AmeriCorps Alums Co-Executive Directors Ben Duda and Mary Bruce

AmeriCorps Alums is dedicated to making sure you know about the latest national service news. AmeriCorps is on the chopping block – and we need your help! While Congress has passed a two-year budget deal, the fight to save AmeriCorps is not over. Congress  is making decisions about funding for specific programs NOW (this week!) – and we need you to tell your representatives and the White House why AmeriCorps is the best investment they can make! 

Please take 10 minutes TODAY to #Stand4Service and protect the future of AmeriCorps! Here’s how: Read more…

No Laughing Matter

November 12, 2015

Mary Bruce 1Today’s blog is written by AmeriCorps Alums Co-Executive Director Mary Bruce (full bio is included at the end of the blog). 

Aziz Ansari is funny. But, his NY Times piece this week on race, opportunity and identity in America didn’t make me laugh. (Okay, parts of it made me laugh. Like the line to his Indian stuntman, “Dude, I’m so sorry!” And the bit on Arnold Schwarzenegger as “the unsung pioneer for minority actors.”) The article made me think. Aziz explains, “Whatever progress toward diversity we are making, the percentage of minorities playing lead roles is still painfully low. The numbers for women are depressing as well.”

Unfortunately, and all too often, we don’t see leadership that’s reflective of our fabulous American reality. A reality in which people of color account for almost 40 percent of the American population and women make up half. For example, new research  shows that the odds of randomly having an all male panel at a conference are slim to none. Yet, as this blog hilariously documents, events featuring just the guys are all too common. And the data Aziz shares on Hollywood isn’t so different than what we shared about leadership in the nonprofit sector last month. On cable, 19% of lead roles went to nonwhites in the 2012-2013 season. Nonprofit boards? 20%.

Nothing funny there.

Representation matters – and not just in Hollywood. Aziz shares, “Seeing an Indian character in a lead role had a powerful effect on me … I rarely saw any Indians on TV or film, except for brief appearances as a cabdriver or a convenience store worker.”

For me? Women in leadership roles inspire me. (Like these alums we honored for Veterans Day.) Their voices, especially in powerful places, help me to find my powerful voice.

But, each time I see a conference panel, or a nonprofit board, (or a new cable show …) that is unreflective of our fabulousness, I feel a little less bold, a little less powerful. And I know we’re doing ourselves a great disservice — because research consistently shows that diverse teams make better decisions.

Author Bio: Mary Bruce served in AmeriCorps from 1999-2000 at the Latin American Youth Center as well as in Peace Corps Morocco from 2004-2006. Before joining Alums, Mary was the Senior Education Advisor at Civic Enterprises. She led the firm’s education portfolio, including convening the Grad Nation Civic Marshall Plan Leadership Council, which brought together more than 40 leading national partners to help reach the goal of 90 percent high school graduation rates by 2020. She also sits on the national advisory council of New Politics, an organization that gives Americans who have served the tools and guidance to win elections and become the transformational leaders America needs.

That’s no laughing matter.

Honoring AmeriCorps Alumni and Veterans

November 10, 2015

Did you know one of the six priorities of AmeriCorps is increasing the engagement of veterans and service to veterans and military families? There are more than 23,000 veterans who have served in AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, and Vet Corps members have served 780,000 veteran & military families.

For Veterans Day, we hope you take a minute to thank a veteran and read a few stories from veterans who chose to serve again in AmeriCorps and from the AmeriCorps members and alums who support them.

Lange_Rebecca_5x7_Head&ShouldersService before Self, Reflections on Military and Civilian Service, by Major Rebecca “BB” Lange

“Sometimes, you need a push. Or a shove. At 17, my parents told me I was on my own to pay for college. Partly because of the expense, partly because they believed I would appreciate a college education more if I earned it. With President Clinton’s 1995 State of the Union Address, I found a way. When I heard the words, ‘…there are 20,000 Americans… helping people, solving problems and, in the process, earning some money for their education. This is citizenship at its best,’ I was sold. I took a leap of faith and signed up for the still-nascent AmeriCorps. I joined other young, idealistic, and eager 18-24 year olds in AmeriCorps National Civilian Conservation Corps (NCCC) […] After AmeriCorps, I used my AmeriCorps education award to pay my first tuition bill at the University of Colorado. AmeriCorps was also my launching pad to military service. As a student, I became an Air Force ROTC cadet.” Read more …

Read more…


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