On the June 20th edition of Time Magazine, the cover story asks, "Can Service Save Us?”
With the past two weeks’ worth of spotlight on the national service movement, from the 2013 Conference on Volunteering and Service convened by Points of Light to the 21st Century National Service Summit convened by the Aspen Institute, the answer is a resounding ‘YES!’
I was happy to be at both convenings, and what’s clear is the power that national service can have, both on the life of the individual who serves as well as at scale when unleashed upon a community. I’m excited to share more about the Franklin Project – which was debuted at the The 21st Century National Service Summit’s as an initiative to grow national service to ONE MILLION service members per year and finally realize a national vision where we can all ask the question, "Where did you serve?”
The plan also puts voluntary national service on par with the one million heroic Americans currently serving in the nation's armed services, as well as outlining opportunities for returning veterans to continue to serve. It is powerful validation for the AmeriCorps service you and I have already completed, and that’s why I was proud to contribute two ideas into the plan – asking both employers and higher education to shift their current hiring and admittance standards to better recognize the value service brings to both the workplace and the classroom.
There is new momentum for national service in this country – and with passionate words from Chris Christie at NCVS as well as the powerful leadership on the Franklin Project from Gen. Stanley McChrystal, it is an important time to be sharing our story as an AmeriCorps Alums.
The challenge now is, "How do we continue to expand service for ALL?” Similar to Conference on Volunteering & National Service theme – how can ‘Service Unite’ all Americans to give back to their country? I’m interested to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to share your feedback with AmeriCorps Alums by tweeting at us or leave a comment on Facebook on how you think Americans can unite in national service.
Executive Director, AmeriCorps Alums