Posts Tagged ‘ Corporation for National and Community Service ’

A Year of Celebrations: the 45th Anniversary of VISTA

Voices of VISTA was a series of radio ads featuring celebrities, and interviews with VISTAs. Listen to the radio spots on the VISTA Campus (free login required).

Happy New Year!

2010 is the 45th anniversary that Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) first fanned out across the country, spending a year organizing communities in poverty, developing local infrastructures, and connecting people with the rights and the social service resources in their regions.

In honor of the 45th anniversary, the Corporation for National and Community Service — the agency that runs VISTA today, as AmeriCorps VISTA — is planning several celebrations throughout 2010, across the country and online.

For example, special events like an exhibit of VISTA photos from the late 60s by then-VISTA Frederico Santi may appear in a few places around the United States, presented during AmeriCorps Week (May 8-15)  and during other times.

Also a focus on poverty issues and a celebration of VISTA’s contributions are in the works for this summer’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service in New York City, among the oldest host cities for VISTAs.

I hope to focus more attention on VISTAs past and present on this blog during the coming year, including writings of VISTAs who have served in the Pacific Northwest and contributed writings to the Northwest National Service Symposium.

To all VISTAs — thanks for your service, and I am excited to help kick off this exciting year! Continue reading

Senate Approves Funding for Peace Corps and AmeriCorps Programs

Today the Senate  gave final congressional approval to a package of six appropriations bills to fund many government programs for Fiscal Year 2010, including 1.149 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service, and  $400 million for the Peace Corps.

President Obama is expected to sign the appropriations package into law shortly.

The $400 million appropriation for Peace Corps is larger than Obama’s budget request, and it means that the agency should be able to place higher numbers of Volunteers in the field.

The $1.149 billion appropriation is the largest in the history of the Corporation for National and Community Service — $260 million more than last year. The increased funding will make it possible for the organization to move forward implementing initiatives authorized by April’s Serve America Act. Here’s an excerpt from this afternoon’s announcement:

The budget provides increases for all the Corporation’s programs, including a significant expansion of AmeriCorps, taking the first step towards the Serve America Act goal of 250,000 AmeriCorps members by 2017.  In addition to increasing member positions, the bill funds the first-ever increase in the dollar amount of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award members earn in return for their service. The $220.9 million for Senior Corps includes increases for all three Senior Corps programs and will support nearly 500,000 older volunteers to meet local needs through service.  The five percent increase for Learn and Serve America will support 1.3 million participants, increase the number of disadvantaged youth participating, and begin a 10-year longitudinal study on the impact of service-learning.

The legislation funds a number of new initiatives, including $50 million for the Social Innovation Fund, which will help solve some of our nation’s most difficult social challenges by investing in promising programs and practices that have demonstrated outcomes. In addition, $4 million was included for the Volunteer Generation Fund to develop and improve volunteer recruitment efforts, $1 million will support a new Nonprofit Capacity Building Program, and $2 million was allocated for a new Summer of Service program to engage middle school students in community-based service-learning projects.  For more information on the Corporation’s Fiscal 2010 budget, click here.

CNCS Chief Nominee Corvington Clears Committee

Corvington, Obama's pick to lead CNCS

Patrick Corvington, Barack Obama’s pick to become the C.E.O. of the Corporation for National and Community Service, was approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee earlier today.

His nomination may see the floor of the Senate as early as next week — if he’s supported there, he’ll be able to start his new job early in the new year.

It’s been over a year that David Eisner left his position at CNCS, when his Chief of Staff Nicola Goren stepped up to serve as Acting C.E.O. Last month Eisner assumed his new role at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, as its new President and CEO.

Corvington, who has been working in leadership development and nonprofit capacity building at the Annie E. Casey Foundation has a strong record of interest in next-generation social change leadership—for example, co-authoring studies Ready to Lead: Next Generation Leaders Speak Out and Next Shift: Beyond the Nonprofit Leadership Crisis, and supporting the work of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.

Groups he’s been involved with like the social innovation fellowship Echoing Green and the nonprofit education organization American Humanics have soundly endorsed Obama’s choice to head CNCS. Read the CNCS press release announcing his nomination earlier this year.

In addition to overseeing the work of AmeriCorps programs, the Corporation may soon take on new responsibilities outline in the Kennedy Serve America Act that was signed into law earlier this year and is making its way through the Continue reading

New Eli Segal Fellow Announced: Teach For America Alum Iris Dooling

Iris Dooling

Former Teach For America and Indiana Reading Corps member Iris L. Dooling has been named 2010′s Eli Segal Fellow.

The Eli Segal Fellowship annually brings former AmeriCorps members to the headquarter offices of the Corporation for National and Community Service in Washington, DC, to serve in the Office of the CEO. The fellowship is named for Eli Segal, the first CEO of the Corporation and its board founded the fellowship in 2006, the year Segal died.

According to today’s announcement from CNCS:

A native of Hobart, Indiana, Dooling, 26, started her AmeriCorps service with the Indiana Reading Corps-AmeriCorps at DePauw University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in English Continue reading

Giving Thanks and Giving Back: A Family Spends Thanksgiving Volunteering…at a Country Line Dancing Bar

Local church youth group volunteers making some plates to go

This guest post is contributed by Jung Fitzpatrick, a former AmeriCorps VISTA member, and staffer here at Idealist.org.

When I called my mom about going home for the Thanksgiving holiday, she told me she was going to volunteer at the Brandin’ Iron. (You may know the BI from a quick mechanical bull riding scene in Borat.)

BI was going to serve a Thanksgiving meal to the hungry.  What else was I supposed to do but say, “Hey, count me in!” I loved the idea of volunteering with my mom.

On the day, my mom and I along with my brother, Sean, and his friend, Will, all headed to BI.  My mom country line dances every week at the BI and heard about the volunteer opportunity from there.  As it turns out, Continue reading

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