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April 2, 2009

After months of countless phone calls, meetings and hard work by AmeriCorps Alums throughout the country as well as tireless efforts by staff and volunteers of the numerous organizations dedicated to service, this week on Tuesday, March 31st, the House voted overwhelmingly to approve a major expansion of national community service programs– the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. This sent the measure to the President’s desk… who has promised to sign it!

The final vote was 275 to 149, with 26 Republicans joining 249 Democrats in favor.  The bill expands the number of AmeriCorps members from 75,000 to 250,000 throughout the country and is also a major priority for First Lady Michelle Obama, who has said that promoting volunteerism will be a hallmark of her time in the White House. The legislation was  renamed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, in honor of the Massachusetts Democrat who was a main architect of the measure.

Today’s House vote again demonstrates the high priority Congress gives to encouraging citizens of all ages in all communities across America to participate in public service.” Kennedy said about the bill. “This legislation will enable many more Americans to do something for their country to meet the many challenges facing us. I look forward to the president signing this bill into law so that a welcome new era of national and community service can begin.”

Thank you to all for your support and hard work to ensure that AmeriCorps and service continue to grow and evolve to support the changing needs of our communities and country.  Without you none of this would even be possible. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!


5 Comments leave one →
  1. ninazephyr permalink
    April 13, 2009 3:41 pm

    Woo-hoo! Fantastic! I’m an NCCC alum and soon to be VISTA member, viva AmeriCorps! =D

  2. Norman Taylor Gregg permalink
    April 15, 2009 8:59 am

    I think the passing of the Kennedy Act is great, so the future looks good! However, I still have a basic question, and hoping you can get this to someone with an answer. The question is:

    Is it possible to continue in the position in which you have served as an Americorps volunteer beyond the first two years of service, and under what conditions?

    Thanks for your help.

    Taylor Gregg

  3. April 15, 2009 9:04 am

    The short answer to your question is yes, but it depends on your host site (or program) and their staffing needs/wants. I know a number of AmeriCorps members who transitioned from their AmeriCorps term into a job doing almost the same thing for the organization they served at. Of course, the organization had to come up with the funds to hire another staff member and the Alum took on more responsibility through the paid full-time (or part-time) position. I’d say talk to your supervisor or host site and tell them what you are interested in doing!

  4. Norman Taylor Gregg permalink
    April 15, 2009 10:39 am

    My host site is already asking if there is a way, but local budgets, like everywhere, are tight. Will AmeriCorps offer any stipend for the third year, or does it all have to come from the volunteer site?


  5. April 15, 2009 11:00 am

    You can do a third year, but you won’t get the Ed award!

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