Virginia Celebrated AmeriCorps Week
Governor Youngkin dedicated March 12-18 to recognize AmeriCorps members, alumni, and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers for uniting in service every year
The Virginia Service Commission (VSC) celebrated the valuable contributions of AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers across the Commonwealth who pledged to “get things done” for our nation as part of the annual AmeriCorps Week. The weeklong celebration also honors the contributions and support of thousands of local organizations that make AmeriCorps programs possible.
On March 12, Governor Youngkin issued a proclamation recognizing AmeriCorps Week in Virginia and highlighted the “sustained, results-driven service through AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors programs.” As a result of the AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors programs across the state, over 1,100 youth were served through academic support services and post-secondary advising. Additionally, over 1,500 adults received job training or placement services through local nonprofits.
In Virginia, approximately 2,800 AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors members serve each year. Members and volunteers dedicate thousands of hours of service to their communities, serving as elementary school tutors, mentors, environmental stewards, capacity builders, and much more. After completing their term of service, members stay connected through national service networks, public service opportunities, and earn an education award to further their studies or careers post-AmeriCorps.
“We are honored to spotlight the amazing contributions of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors, both the individuals who dedicate their time and talent to making a difference and the organizations that partner to offer these meaningful service opportunities in communities across Virginia,” said Kathy Spangler, Director of the Virginia Service Commission. “AmeriCorps members not only meet critical community needs through serving as tutors, college advisors, and peer recovery specialists to name a few, but they also strengthen Virginia’s workforce as they learn much needed skills through these experiences.”
In celebration of AmeriCorps Week, elected officials and key stakeholders attended site visits to celebrate AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers. On March 14th, Delegate Amanda Batten visited the Virginia Service and Conservation Corps at York River State Park in Williamsburg, Virginia to see the impact of AmeriCorps members through projects to protect environmental resources, fight invasive species, and increase access to green space resources for all Virginians.
On March 15th, the deputy district director for Congressman Griffith, Cody Mumpower, and Wise County Public Schools Superintendent Mike Goforth met with a member from the Virginia College Advising Corps in Norton, Virginia. High school students shared their experiences working with the AmeriCorps member serving their school and demonstrated the impact of having a near-peer college adviser to support them in their postsecondary exploration.
AmeriCorps members were also celebrated at CASA in Woodbridge, Virginia on March 15th, with Delegate Luke Torian and representatives from the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. AmeriCorps members at CASA assist families with increasing levels of financial literacy, providing youth development programming for students from immigrant families, and workforce development training for low income and immigrant adults.
AmeriCorps Seniors Director, Atalya Sergei, visited the AmeriCorps Seniors program at Senior Connections in Richmond, Virginia on March 17th to celebrate Foster Grandparent and RSVP volunteers. These AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serve as Foster Grandparents in child development centers in the Richmond metro area to offer additional support to at-risk youth. RSVP volunteers through AmeriCorps Seniors make a tangible impact on the community through regular volunteer and service projects to assist nonprofit organizations and initiatives across the region.
More than 1.25 million Americans have served their country through AmeriCorps and millions more have served in AmeriCorps Seniors since 1994, leaving a lasting impact on generations of Americans. These dedicated citizens from all walks of life help communities rebuild after disasters, ensure students get back on track after the COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions, combat hunger and homelessness, fight the opioid epidemic, help seniors live independently, support veterans and military families, and much more.
AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers will also be recognized through the Virginia National Service Awards later this spring. The National Service Awards highlight the outstanding contributions of members and volunteers in Virginia, and recognize the last impacting made through their commitment to serving within local communities. To attend the virtual National Service Awards, please register here.
The Virginia Service Commission (VSC) supports national service and community volunteerism across the Commonwealth. In addition to overseeing the annual grant competition that awards funding to AmeriCorps State and other national service programs, VSC actively works to support volunteerism through policy and program priorities, training and assistance, and recognizing individuals and organizations from all sectors for their contributions within their communities. VSC is supported by the Virginia Service Foundation and is guided by the Governor’s Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism. For more about the work of VSC, please visit VirginiaService.Virginia.Gov
AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, provides opportunities for Americans to serve their country domestically, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, improve lives and communities, and strengthen civic engagement. Each year, the agency places more than 200,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in intensive service roles; and empowers millions more to serve as long-term, short-term or one-time volunteers. Learn more at AmeriCorps.gov.
AmeriCorps offers opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds to be a part of the national service community, grow personally and professionally, and receive benefits for their service.