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February 2014

In This Issue
1. #FriendsOfService 2. Spotlight on AmeriCorps, Alums in DC Schools
3. Get Your Free Tax Returns

4. Alums in the News: Shayla Price

5. AmeriCorps Alums Strategic Plan Webinar

Friends of National Service Awards Full of "AmeriLove"

" Please stand if you’re an AmeriCorps Alum, so we can thank you for your service,” said California’s Chief Service Office, Karen Baker, to a crowd of more than 500 at the annual Friends of National Service Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.on Tuesday night. AmeriCorps alumni stood to humbly receive the applause, as had other honorees throughout the evening, including Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Senator John McCain of Arizona, and Representative Luke Messer of Indiana. For a list of all honorees, click here.

Just days before Valentine’s Day, there was a lot of Ameri-LOVE at this "family reunion” of AmeriCorps members, alumni, and champions. Show your #AmeriLOVE this Valentine’s Day, and join our campaign to doublemembership with us in 2014. Make sure you and your AmeriLOVES are registered at

In Service,

Ben Duda and Mary Bruce
Co-Executive Directors

Mary Bruce, Co-ED
Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS
Ben Duda, Co-ED
Jamiel Alexander, YouthBuild Alum Chair
Senator Chris Coons of Delaware

Spotlight on AmeriCorps, Alums in DC Schools

One in four African American students and nearly one in five Hispanic students still attend high schools with graduation rates under 50 percent, but the number of so called "drop out factories” is on the decline. For the first time, the U.S. is on pace to reach the national goal of a 90% high school graduation rate by 2020 (up from 78% today).

This week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Stanton Elementary School in Washington D.C. Public Schools to see firsthand how schools are being transformed through the power of national service. Previously considered a "school of last resort,” according to the Secretary, now the children at Stanton "are doing…absolutely remarkable,” with the support of AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Alums.

In addition to the 18 AmeriCorps members at Stanton, the DC school has at least eight AmeriCorps alums on staff, including its principal. Gabby Fish, AmeriCorps Alum and Stanton Elementary School Teacher explains, "As a direct result of my 2 years of service with City Year, I am now teaching 4th Grade Special Education at the same DCPS school which I served. While serving as a City Year AmeriCorps member, I learned the value of community and collaboration, of servant leadership, and of perseverance. Stanton Elementary School and its 500-plus students are empowered everyday by our committed staff and dedicated AmeriCorps alums like me."

Share your education story. Gabby’s education career was "Made In AmeriCorps.” Was yours? If you are an Alum currently working in education or youth development, please share your story here!

Video: AmeriCorps Bring Support, Success to D.C. School
DC Schools Get Special Visit

More on National Service and Education from the Corporation for National and Community Service here:

CNCS Bulletins

Free Tax Returns Are Back


Each year, AMERICORPS ALUMS partners with to offer free federal and state tax return filings to Alums and current members. Last year, over 1,700 Alums took advantage of this offer, and received over $1.36 million in federal and state tax refunds. We want to outpace last year's results, but can only meet that goal with your help. Please share this opportunity on Facebook or Twitter with any AmeriCorps Alums and/or AmeriCorps members you know. In order to qualify for this offer, individuals or families must have 2013 household income under $58,000. To file your own free tax returns, please click here.

Alums in the News: From AmeriCorps to Executive Director and Advocate for Affordable Education


For many of us who have served in AmeriCorps, the service experience catapults us to career opportunities that are directly connected with our service in AmeriCorps. The same is true for Shayla Price, an AmeriCorps VISTA alum who served in 2012 with Harvesters in Kansas City, Missouri.

"The AmeriCorps experience gave me courage to be on the frontlines of issues affecting my community. I learned how to not hesitate when challenges arise. That's definitely why I accepted my current Executive Director position. I chose not to be on the sidelines anymore. AmeriCorps was a great experience for me that helped open this door!"

Shayla is currently the Executive Director of the National Search Dog Alliance (NSDA), a nonprofit whose mission is to provide education, certifications and a voice in the future of search and rescue canines. The organization supports the efforts of all search and rescue personnel by enhancing their knowledge and capabilities in the field of search and rescue canines. She reveals, "Effective collaboration is one of the key skills I learned in AmeriCorps that I use today. During my summer of service, I worked with others at a mobile food pantry to distribute fresh veggies and fruits to families. Now, I partner with individuals to ensure canine search and rescue teams are equipped with the proper training to bring the missing and endangered back to their families. Through these experiences, I learned the value of national service.”

More on Shayla's story

Bigger, Bolder, Further, Faster. AmeriCorps Alums 2014 Strategic Plan Webinar

Register for our 2014 Strategy Webinar. In January, AmeriCorps Alums leadership shared their 2014 strategic plan with more than 60 chapter leaders, representing more than 20 states.Are you interested in learning more about where ALUMS is going and how to get involved? Register for our 2014 Strategy Webinar by clicking here. Spaces are limited.

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