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The Future of National Service: Building a Movement

April 24, 2015

Together, we are building a movement. After serving in AmeriCorps, three out of four alumni pursue a career that impacts the world. We know it takes more than one service term to reach our full potential as civic leaders, but we can’t imagine a better starting line than a service year. How can we encourage more Americans to serve?

Serious group shot.cropped

AmeriCorps Alums gathered at Google headquarters for a conversation on the future of national service.

AmeriCorps Alums invited leading alumni and national service champions to answer that question at a special event, “The Future of National Service: Building a Movement, an Online Exchange, and Getting Involved.” Our National Advisory Council Member Seth Marbin and GooglersGive hosted us and our Bay Area chapter at Google headquarters to talk more.

Seth.cropped“Imagine the power of one million alums!” said Seth Marbin as he kicked off the event. We’ve seen the power of alums at national service events and conferences and during the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps and 50th anniversary of AmeriCorps VISTA. A year of service is a launching pad to a lifetime as a civic leader. That’s good news worth spreading.

AmeriCorps Alums has been a a key partner in the Serve a Year campaign to make a service year a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. The future of the service movement depends on our ability to draw more people to this transformative experience.

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Jessica Graham, CISCO community relations manager and AmeriCorps alum, says, ” I came out of service with a bug for service. I had to do more. It transformed my perspective.” What does it take to change more perspectives and get more people like Jessica on the ground solving our toughest challenges?

We turned to Shirley Sagawa, the founding mother of the modern service movement and our keynote speaker, to share how we build a stronger movement. Among her many contributions, Shirley Sagawa was the first Director of AmeriCorps. She helped draft and pass the legislation that created the Corporation for National Service, and she is leading the development of the Service Year platform as Chief Service Officer of the National Conference on Citizenship.

Animated Shirley Sagawa.croppedTo reach more Americans, we have to ask more people to join us. “We believe Americans help when they are asked,” said Shirley Sagawa. “So we’re going to do more asking. We’re asking everyone to get involved.”

We’re also asking in new and innovative ways. We’re part of campaigns asking Hollywood to put AmeriCorps on our screens and we’re supporting online platforms like this one and this one that showcase all the ways and places you can serve.

Join us in building this movement. Click here to tweet your support of a service year, and tell us in the comments below how you think we can build a stronger future for service.

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