Committing to a Second Term of National or International Service?

During the term of any successful corps member, the question comes up: should I sign on for another go-round?

Most programs allow you to serve a second (and even a third, or seventh) term of service. Your options may include:

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Service For All

RPCV Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) have introduced four bills that, taken together, emphasize access to service for people of all ages.

The legislators have called their initiative the Service for All Ages Initiative and it includes:

The Summer of Service Act would offer students making the transition from middle to high school an opportunity to participate in a structured community service program over the summer months. 100 hours of service would earn Continue reading

House Committee Holds a Hearing to Examine Need for Service

Wednesday morning the House Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing “examine the importance of national and community service in meeting critical economic needs” across the country.

According to a press release from the office Rep. George Miller—the chair of the committee—the hearing will focus on “re-invigorating” civic engagement, expanding national service opportunities for young people, and greening the United States with the help of national service programs.

Witnesses who will testify include:

Pres. Obama Calls for Swift Passage of the Serve America Act

Update, April 21, 2009: President Obama signs the Serve America Act into law. To take effect October 1, 2009.

In an address to a joint session Congress tonight, Feb. 24th, President Obama urged lawmakers to pass the picture-24Kennedy-Hatch Serve America Act which would expand funding for national service.

The Serve America Act, co-authored by Senator Kennedy (D-MA) and Senator Hatch (R-UT), was introduced in the Senate January 16 and would:

  • Engage more Americans in a term of national service to solve critical challenges in local communities by increasing AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000 Continue reading

Peace Corps Week

This week is Peace Corps Week!

This week, Feb. 23-March 3, is Peace Corps Week. A time to reflect on 48 years of international service by almost 200,000 U.S. Volunteers, and for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to speak about their experiences in the corps with schools and community groups across the United States.

Check out Peace Corps Week events going on in your region. Also find out how the National Peace Corps Association — the independent group of RPCVS — is celebrating. Read what the national service Resource Center has on tap for Peace Corps Week, too.

I’ll be in Boston tomorrow and Washington Friday, talking about service at the Idealist.org Nonprofit Career Fairs. If you ask nicely, I’ll tell you all about my time in Peace Corps China. Also check out these Idealist podcast shows on Peace Corps: with Bonnie Thie, China Country Director; and Eileen Conoboy, former Director of the Office of University Programs.

For information about joining the Peace Corps, call 1-800-424-8580 (press 1) to speak to a local recruiter. To learn more about Peace Corps Week, call 1-800-424-8580 (press 2, then ext. 1961) or email pcweek [at] peacecorps.gov or visit the Peace Corps website.

Rolling out stimulus AmeriCorps members

I listened to an open conference call hosted by Corporation for National and Community Service Chief of Program Operations Kristin McSwain. I am not going to post the more technical aspects of the call, but here are a few points I found interesting.

“Stimulus” members will serve alongside traditional members in existing programs (VISTA might be an exception). Stimulus members will address mostly these areas (though everything is still up in the air) :

1. Winterizing homes, housing access, keeping people in homes
2. Access to health care and providing health care
3. Nonprofit capacity building
4. Youth corps/development

Keep in mind, this is still separate from the Kennedy-Hatch “Serve America Act.”

Here’s the link to the page that will document the changes to national service through the Recovery Act. At the web site, you call a toll-free number to listen to a recording of the call.

Idealist Nonprofit Career Fairs Coming to a City Near You

picture-91The 2009 season of Idealist.org Nonprofit Career Fairs launches next Tuesday in Boston.

Looking for a job? An internship, full-time service opportunity, or part-time volunteer gig?

Check out this spring’s Nonprofit Career Fairs taking place in cities across the United States:

  • Boston, Feb. 24
  • Washington, Feb. 27 at the PowerShift 09 Conference
  • Philadelphia, Mar. 26
  • Los Angeles, Apr. 6
  • Cleveland, Apr. 8
  • Minneapolis, Apr. 14
  • Chicago, May 19

In addition to the nonprofit organization representatives (and even some grad school admissions staff) that you’ll meet, you can participate in workshops that run concurrently with the event. Workshops usually touch on topics of career transitions into the nonprofit sector.

At next week’s events in Boston and Washington, DC, I’ll be offering workshops on questions to ask if you’re considering full-time national or international service.

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