The first AmeriCorps members began their service in September 1994. AmeriCorps consists of three main programs: AmeriCorps State and National, whose members serve with national and local nonprofit and community groups; AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America, established in 1965), through which members serve full time fighting poverty; and AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps), a team-based program for young adults focusing on disaster relief, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. All AmeriCorps programs are administered by the federal agency, The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). CNCS conducted a study and lead the development of an alumni association that was spun off to the "Partnership for National Service” which at that time worked under the Points of Light Foundation (POLF).
AmeriCorps Alums was branded and eventually became an independent 501c3 nonprofit agency. From 1999 through 2004, AmeriCorps Alums worked hard to secure benefits to members such as healthcare, an extensive job bank and schools that match the Education Award. They also advocated to not tax the Education Award. To build a broader network, the Board voted to rename the organization the National AmeriCorps Association.
In 2004, the board decided to pursue a merger to strengthen the organization's capacity. After much research, deliberation, and consultation with alumni and stakeholders, the Board determined to merge the organization into Points of Light (HandsOn Network) and restore the name AmeriCorps Alums. AmeriCorps Alums, its network and brand has thrived under Points of Light and HandsOn Network since January 2005.
Points of Light
AmeriCorps Alums is a stand-alone operating unit within the Points of Light — an organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. To learn more about either of these organizations, please visit: http://www.pointsoflight.org/