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Happy Holidays, AmeriCorps Alums!

December 17, 2015

Today’s guest blog is written by AmeriCorps Alums Co-Executive Directors Mary Bruce and Ben Duda author bios are below the blog).

Mug with snowmanThis holiday season, you can find AmeriCorps members and alums serving at crazy sweater parties, gathering for potlucks, helping other alums explore public service graduate programs, and giving back to invest in the newest generation of AmeriCorps members.

And alums aren’t just connecting and volunteering for the holidays. It’s what we do every day. Because this is why we’re here, and why AmeriCorps and its alums matter.

It’s also why we’re proud to share that in partnership with YOU and leading national service organizations like Voices for National Service, we’ve made sure the opportunity to serve will grow. News just broke yesterday that Congress will increase AmeriCorps funding instead of cutting it. Your help taking a #Stand4Service is a huge reason why AmeriCorps support is expanding.

So, as we head towards winter break, we wanted to give thanks for the incredible year we have had. Together, we:

  • Connected 100,000 alumni each month to career support through our newsletters, webinars, and virtual events;
  • Launched the first national AmeriCorps graduation campaign, which included the release of this Class of 2015 video and a customizable Ameri-diploma;
  • Hosted consultative strategy sessions with more than 400 alumni in a dozen cities across the country that built on the work from our first AmeriCorps Alums Leadership Forum (made possible by support from the Annie E. Casey and Ford Foundations) and informed our strategic plan. We’ll be hosting a general strategy call open to all alumni in January (stay tuned to our events calendar) to share more on how Alums can impact challenges around race and equity in the social sector talent pipeline;
  • Engaged nearly 160 alumni as guest bloggers, webinar trainers, and event speakers while also expanding our national chapter network to Guam and Puerto Rico;
  • And helped increase the number of Employers of National Service to over 250 nonprofit, private, and public employers.

Be sure to  scroll down and check out our full 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps “Year-In-Review” for all the best moments of the year and have a great holiday season!

In service and with gratitude,

Ben and Mary

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Ben Duda headshotBen Duda completed two years and more than 4,000 hours of service in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) as a Corps member and team leader. In addition, Ben served as a teaching fellow for middle school students with Citizen Schools’ AmeriCorps program in Boston. Dedicated to increasing civic engagement and impact, Ben then spent five years after AmeriCorps as a senior program manager with KaBOOM! He grew and led a major campaign to increase the engagement of mayors and city residents in supporting play and physical activities. Before transitioning to his role as the Co-Executive Director of AmeriCorps Alums in 2011, Ben served on Alums’ founding Leadership Council. Ben holds a M.P.P. in Urban Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, and a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.

Mary Bruce 1Mary 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.

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