AmeriCorps Alums: A Movement That’s Already Leading
This year’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service offered further proof of Mary Bruce’s assertion that AmeriCorps alums aren’t emerging leaders—we’re already leading. Wendy Spencer, the CEO of CNCS, said it best when she stopped by our Town Hall, “AmeriCorps Alums are a movement.” Over 400 AmeriCorps alums joined us during conference to share stories, ask questions, and prepare to celebrate 20 years of service from now until our anniversary on September 12th. AmeriCorps Alums were center stage at this year’s Conference, and here’s a quick recap and preview of what’s coming next in case you couldn’t catch the action from the front-row.
The conference kicked-off with an Opening Plenary that featured alums as speakers on a panel Chelsea Clinton moderated and as leaders of the crowd marching out at the end of the session. Chelsea Clinton, asked “How are Millennials transforming the social change movement?” and AmeriCorps alums Mayor Dayne Walling of Flint and Bethaney Wright, a GA Teaching Fellows were on hand to answer. Mayor Walling shared that serving in AmeriCorps taught him “the power of the public.” Bethaney reminded us that as we encourage young people to serve by pointing out how it benefits them that we should still keep the true selfless spirit of service alive. Then, in a demonstration of unity that truly reflected the Conference’s theme that “Service Unites” over 200 AmeriCorps alums led the march out of Opening Plenary. Later that night, we continued to celebrate the start of conference during a Happy Hour co-sponsored by our local Atlanta Alums chapter. View highlights from our Happy Hour in our Facebook album.
We reunited with AmeriCorps Alums in our sold-out Town Hall Luncheon on the second day. We celebrated the good news revealed in our national survey that three in four alums want a career in social impact. Yet, we also asked, what can we do about the fact that only a third of young alums feel well-equipped to do so after AmeriCorps? In addition to special guests such as Wendy Spencer, our Town Hall also featured a panel of alum leaders working in local Alum chapters, educational institutions, AmeriCorps State Commissions, defense fellows programs in the Senate, and entrepreneurial companies like Google. Who better to share how we can support alums, than a panel of alums already leading?
On the final day, we met with over a dozen Alum chapter leaders from across the country, and were inspired by the passion of this small group committed to engaging more alums in more meaningful ways. Talking with these chapter leaders reinforced that as we move toward our 20th Anniversary, NOW’S the time to honor and support our civic leaders, which is why we’re honoring twenty AmeriCorps leaders for the 20th Anniversary. In less than 10 minutes, you can nominate yourself or another exceptional alum who’s committed to a lifetime of service beyond our year of service. Share your stories on twenty.americorpsalums.org.
Celebrate 20 years of service by going to twenty.americorpsalums.org and registering with us, sharing your story, and pledging to serve 20 hours this summer. When we finish AmeriCorps, there is a story “Beyond the A,” and it might be the most important story we can tell. Help us tell that story.