Atlas Corps Wins $10K in America’s Giving Challenge – Recruiting for Spring 2010 Fellowships in Colombia + Needs Your Support for Another Online Contest

Atlas Corps earned over $32,000 recently in America’s Giving Challenge, which counted the number of daily donors to Atlas Corps through Facebook Causes. Because of its fabulous showing, the organization won an additional $10,000 as top winner in the contest.

Atlas Corps, the fairly new service corps that uniquely recruits skilled international and U.S. volunteers to serve in U.S.- and Bogota-based nonprofits for a year, attracted over 2,500 donations in about a month through the contest.

Now Atlas Corps is hoping to get your click – no financial donation necessary — to sweep the Chase Community Giving contest on Facebook which ends Dec. 11th. Chase is donating a total of $5 million in the contest to organizations who Continue reading

Alan Khazei, City Year Co-Founder, Running for the Senate in Massachusetts — Election in Two Weeks

Update, Dec. 9: Although Alan Khazei gained the endorsements of many prominent people and even The Boston Globe, he was defeated at the polls during the Democratic primary Dec. 8th, by Martha Coakley, Massachusetts Attorney General. Khazei won 13 percent of the popular vote during yesterday’s election.

Among the hopefuls to fill Ted Kennedy’s long-held Senate seat is City Year founder Alan Khazei.

Alan Khazei, from his campaign website

Twenty years ago Alan Khazei and Michael Brown co-founded City Year, a national service corps that became a model for AmeriCorps in the early 90s. Today, Khazei is campaigning his heart out in Massachusetts to fill the Senate seat left empty on August 25th when Senator Ted Kennedy passed away from a brain tumor.

Khazei had worked closely with Senator Kennedy to create and garner Congressional support for several pieces of legislation for national service programs, including the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1990, AmeriCorps, Save AmeriCorps, and this year’s landmark Kennedy Serve America Act.

On other issues, Khazei stands with Kennedy’s positions as well, including his sense that No Child Left Behind — Continue reading

America’s Service Commissions Launches a Wiki to Help State Groups Replicate Effective National Service Models

This week, America’s Service Commissions (ASC)—the independent association of state commissions on voluntary action and service—and ServeMinnesota — the Minnesota commission on volunteering and service — have announced the launch a new resource, the AmeriCorps State Program Replication Wiki.

The Kennedy Serve America Act, signed into law in April, offers the national service community an unprecedented opportunity to expand service at the local level and offer far more citizens a chance to serve in their communities. The Act also poses a huge challenge to national service programs — the opportunity to increase the number and size of individual corps without weakening the impact of service, or diluting support for corps members, host organizations, etc.

State service commissions—appointed by state governors and responsible for the bulk of AmeriCorps funds distribution Continue reading

Next City Year Application Deadline Fast Approaching

Cross-posted from the City Year Tumblog by Michael Messina.

Young people are increasingly psyched about giving back and making a difference.

Over the past year or so, interest in programs like City Year has skyrocketed. Applications to City Year tripled last year! That’s great news for all of us.

On the flip side, increased applications + limited slots = increased competition for those that want to serve.

That brings us to the point of this post…. the benefits of applying early to City Year.

Meet City Year corps member Bert Rivera! He’s 23 and a recent college grad from Chicago. He currently serves as team leader in a middle school in Los Angeles.

Last year, Bert submitted his application by the Nov. 30 deadline.

Check out his video to get his take on applying early to City Year.

Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco Passes Away After an Illness

Peace Corps suffers the loss of a vibrant Volunteer So-Youn Kim.

This week, Peace Corps announced the death of a young Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Morocco.

The 23-year-old So-Youn Kim — a 2007 Stanford grad — passed away Monday, November 16th, after an illness. The announcement from Peace Corps doesn’t specify the illness, and says the exact cause of death is unknown. She was about half-way through her term of service as a youth development worker in Tamegroute, a small village within the Zagora province of Morocco.

This Saturday, the Peace Corps community in Morocco will hold a memorial service for the young Volunteer.

From the blog of fellow Peace Corps Morocco Volunteer Joy:

Monday night, I received shocking news that So-Youn Kim, a YD volunteer who arrived with my staaj (training group), passed away unexpectedly. I only briefly knew her. She had a fiery spirit, that was both polarizing and admirable. This past month, she organized two well-received pottery workshops. My heart ached not being able to attend. My heart aches for her passing, her community (both in Morocco, Peace Corps and the States) and her family.

And from fellow Peace Corps Morocco Volunteer “oclynn”:

I just received very disturbing news from Peace Corps in Rabat. So-Youn Kim, the YD PCV who put Continue reading

Roosevelt Scholars Act Introduced in the Senate

Senators George Voinovich (R-OH) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have recently introduced the Roosevelt Scholars Act of 2009 (S. 2789) to enable and attract highly qualified people to work for the federal government.

The legislation would fund Roosevelt Scholars to pursue degrees in high-skill, high-need fields while receiving tuition, room & board, and a stipend in exchange for a commitment to serve in the federal government – the civilian equivalent to the military’s successful ROTC program.The Roosevelt Scholars program is one effort in response to these looming workforce issues within the federal government:

  • 273,000 mission-critical positions in federal agencies that need to be filled by 2012
  • $20,056 average debt of 2007-2008 undergraduates who took out loans
  • $47,503 average total loan debt after completion of a graduate or professional degree program, effectively pricing many of our most talented students out of public service

Over 140 college and university presidents as well as leaders of associations and good government groups have endorsed the Roosevelt Scholars Act since Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Mike Castle (R-DE) introduced the bill in the House (H.R. 3510).

The Partnership for Public Service, an independent organization that educates people about federal government careers, is asking supporters to sign the online petition and send it to five friends who care about affordable education and a talented federal workforce, to call their Senators at 202-224-3121 and Representatives at 202-225-3121 and urge them to cosponsor the Roosevelt Scholars Act of 2009.

Read The Washington Post pieces by E.J. Dionne and Joe Davidson on Roosevelt Scholars.

Keeping Your Sleep Debt Slim

cmw3_d_alarmclock1I’ve yet to hear an adult tell me on any given morning: “I’m soooo rested.  I had way too much sleep last night.”

On the other hand, we’d all be smiling if we had a nickel for every time someone said: “I’m soooo tired.  I didn’t get enough sleep.”  Demanding jobs, personal relationships, and day-to-day tasks consume our lives.  Yet the important task of sleeping seems to fall to the bottom of our priority list.  Sacrificing quality sleep, however, could potentially be adding to your sleep debt.  And who wants more debt?!

What is Sleep Debt?

Sleep debt is the accumulated sleep that is lost due to poor sleeping habits, sickness, or other causes that affect “peaceful” sleep.  This debt can become difficult to “pay back” if it becomes too large.  Adults roughly need between 7-9 hours of sleep Continue reading