As part of the ongoing My Brother’s Keeper minority empowerment initiative, President Obama announces a new $14 million funding effort that will partner AmeriCorps projects with federal agencies and the private sector.
The Departments of Justice, Agriculture and the Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps’ parent agency) launch the new multi-agency effort. The new initiative will combine with new AmeriCorps programs and partnerships which total up to $14 million over three years. Private-sector commitments from AT&T and Citi Foundation will support additional AmeriCorps service opportunities that provide young people skills and supports.
CNCS and the DOJ’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) are jointly funding the Youth Opportunity AmeriCorps. The program will spend $10 million to enroll disconnected youth in national service programs as AmeriCorps members. It includes a mentorship component, which will provide critical mentoring support to the youth.
USDA and CNCS have joined in a new partnership between AmeriCorps and the USDA’s Forest Service that connects youth and veterans with service opportunities to restore the nation’s forests and grasslands. The $3.8 million in joint funding will provide resources for both AmeriCorps grantees and member organizations of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC), and will also provide for 300 new AmeriCorps members serving in U.S. forests and grasslands.
“As a nation, there is much more we can do to help our young people stay on track and reach their full potential in life,” says Wendy Spencer, CNCS CEO. “AmeriCorps is a proven pathway to opportunity that provides skills, leadership, and college support for young people.
In addition to new federal partnerships, the White House announced additional AmeriCorps commitments from the private sector.
- AT&T is launching the Aspire Mentoring Academy Corps. The program will engage AmeriCorps members in regions around the country and engage thousands of youth from underserved communities in mentoring activities.
- Last year, AT&T Aspire made a $5 million grant to Communities In Schools in support of efforts to address the high school dropout problem. The funds helped CIS expand and strengthen its network of 70,000 volunteers and 15,700 community partners working to provide integrated support for 1.25 million at-risk youth
- Citi Foundation is making a three year, $10 million commitment to create ServiceWorks, a national program under the auspices of AmeriCorps and Points of Light that uses volunteer service to help 25,000 young people in ten cities across the United States. The program, which will deploy 225 AmeriCorps VISTA members over three years, will engage youth, age 16-24, in service and build a large-scale volunteer effort.
- The young participants will receive training in critical 21st century leadership and workplace skills, the chance to build their networks and connections to their communities, and the opportunity to use their new skills by participating in and leading volunteer service projects.
In June, the White House and foundations participating in the initiative offered their plans to direct federal and private funding to meet the program’s goals. The initiative includes a task force to oversee the direction of federal funding and a group of 11 foundations providing $200 million over five years.