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Maine VolunteerFare

From the Corporation

Published May 14, 2006


AmeriCorps Announces 128 Grants to Support 9,682 AmeriCorps Members

Washington D.C. - The Corporation for National and Community Service announced that it is approving $57.3 million in second- and third-year grants to 128 organizations to support 9,682 AmeriCorps members for the 2006-2007 program year.

If all members supported by these grants complete their terms of service, they collectively will be eligible to receive nearly $27 million in AmeriCorps Education Awards to pay for college or to pay back student loans.

?These grants will enable these extremely strong programs to continue to make a difference in communities across the country, said David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation, which administers AmeriCorps. ?And they also will enable nearly 10,000 individuals to gain the skills and experience they need to make a difference in their own lives.?

AmeriCorps grants typically are for three years, with annual renewals contingent on performance and availability of funds. This ?continuation grant? funding announcement represents the second or third year of support to organizations currently administering an AmeriCorps program.

All but two of the awards announced today are part of the AmeriCorps*State Competitive grant competition, in which Governor-appointed state service commissions submit their top programs for consideration on a nationwide basis. The remaining two are part of the National Education Award Program competition. For a complete list of grantees, the amounts awarded, and the numbers of AmeriCorps members to be supported, visit http://www.cns.gov/about/newsroom/releases_detail.asp?tbl_pr_id=264

AmeriCorps members?who are recruited directly by the organizations that receive grants?participate in a wide range of service projects in the areas of education, public safety, the environment, and other human needs communities across the country. Among many other activities, they teach disadvantaged students in low-income school districts, mentor at-risk youth, serve people with disabilities, help communities respond to disasters, restore parks and trails, and mobilize volunteers to meet vital community needs.

The grants announced today represent only part of the grants to be made this year by AmeriCorps. In total, the fiscal year 2006 budget for AmeriCorps will support a total of approximately 73,000 positions, the majority of which are awarded through Governor-appointed state service commissions. Most of the positions will be available starting in the fall. Interested individuals can learn about available opportunities and submit an online application by visiting http://www.americorps.gov/.

"AmeriCorps is a great way to get skills and college aid while making a difference for your community," said Eisner.

At the end of a successful full-time term of service, AmeriCorps members earn an AmeriCorps Education Award of $4,725 that they can use to pay for college or to pay back qualified student loans. Part-time members earn awards in "pro-rated" amounts. Most AmeriCorps members also receive health benefits, student loan deferment, and a living allowance to offset food and housing costs during their term of service.

In addition to the AmeriCorps*State and National grant program, AmeriCorps also includes: AmeriCorps*NCCC, a 10-month, full-time residential program for men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 who carry out projects in public safety, public health, and disaster relief; and AmeriCorps*VISTA, whose members help bring individuals and communities out of poverty by serving full-time to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, increase housing opportunities, or bridge the digital divide.

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which also oversees Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America. Together with the USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation is working to build a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility in America. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.


President Thanks America?s Volunteers, Calls for More

Presidential Proclamation Kicks Off Week-long Celebration of Volunteers

(Washington, D.C.) ? In a proclamation issued yesterday for National Volunteer Week, President Bush praised the dedication of America?s 65 million volunteers and urged more Americans to help their neighbors in need and serve a cause greater than themselves.

The proclamation kicks off a week of volunteer service projects and special recognition events to thank America?s volunteers during National Volunteer Week, which is April 23-29. Events will involve Americans of all ages and backgrounds ? from kindergartners to cabinet secretaries, teens to TV stars, seniors and CEOs ? all aimed at recognizing America?s volunteers and encouraging more to get involved.

?Our Nation is a force for freedom and prosperity, and our greatness is measured by our character and how we treat one another,? said the President. ?During National Volunteer Week, and throughout the year, we appreciate the millions of volunteers across America and strive to be a more compassionate and decent society. The President urged Americans to find information about volunteer opportunities in their own hometowns by visiting the USA Freedom Corps website at www.volunteer.gov.

David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service -- the nation?s largest grantmaker supporting service and volunteering -- echoed the President?s praise for volunteers. Last year, participants in the Corporation?s Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs provided more than 200 million hours of service and engaged an additional 1.3 million community volunteers. In February, the Corporation released a five-year Strategic Plan that set a national goal of increasing the number of Americans who volunteer each year to 75 million by the year 2010. The plan noted that reaching that goal will require not just more volunteer recruitment but an investment in the capacity and infrastructure to support volunteers, matching volunteers with appropriate and meaningful opportunities, and volunteer training and recognition.

?Volunteers are the lifeblood of our nation. Schools, hospitals, shelters, parks - organizations of every type in every community depend on the time and talent of volunteers,? said Eisner. ?When nature showed its worst in the Gulf, America showed its best, with an unprecedented outpouring of volunteer compassion that continues to this day. As we pay tribute to volunteers this week, we must redouble our efforts to engage more Americans in serving their communities and country.?

Several recent studies have shed new light on the benefits and demographics of volunteering in America:

o Volunteer service in America continues to rise. This past year, 65.4 million Americans volunteered with formal organizations, a 5.6 million increase since President Bush issued his call to service in January 2002.

o America?s volunteers are a powerful economic force. Using Independent Sector?s estimate that an hour of volunteer time is worth $18.04, multiplied by the estimated 8.6 billion hours Americans volunteered in 2005, the estimated total dollar value of volunteer time for 2005 is $148 billion.

o Teens volunteer more than adults. An estimated 15.5 million youth ? or 55 percent of youth ages 12 to 18 participate in volunteer activities; nearly twice the adult volunteering rate -- with youth contributing more than 1.3 billion hours of community service each year.

o Boomers Have High Volunteer Rates. A recent study shows that 33.2 percent of all boomers ? 25.8 million people ? volunteered for formal organizations in 2005. This represents the highest rate of volunteering of any adult age cohort. A new campaign www.getinvolved.gov aims to increase that percent, especially as boomers begin to retire and have more free time.

National Volunteer Week, sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation, began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing the week as an annual celebration of volunteering. The 2006 theme is "Inspire By Example" to reflect the power volunteers have to inspire the people they help, as well as, to inspire others to serve.

National and Global Youth Service Day falls during the weekend of April 21-23 and millions of young people will participate. Youth in the U.S. will join peers in more than 100 countries to address immediate community needs such as disaster relief, literacy, hunger alleviation, public safety, healthcare, and environmental conservation.

Senior executives from the Corporation for National and Community Service will be participating in both commemorations. Among others, COO Elizabeth Seale will join Mayor Anthony Williams and Serve DC in kicking off National and Global Youth Service Day in Washington D.C., where more than 6,000 youth will participate in some 60 projects over the weekend; and Senior Corps Director Tess Scannell will speak about engaging Baby Boomers in volunteer service to the Association of Americans for Civic Responsibility.

Also during National Volunteer Week, members of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation join President George W. Bush in releasing a new Radio PSA Campaign, "Make a Difference. Volunteer." The campaign's English and Spanish version spots feature actor Stephen Baldwin, NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne, actress Patricia Heaton, University of Texas Chancellor Mark Yudof and other national leaders encouraging Americans to volunteer. The PSAs direct listeners to www.volunteer.gov to find volunteer opportunities that best fit their needs and experience.

The President?s Council on Service and Civic Participation has recognized the dedication of more than 400,000 Americans with the President?s Volunteer Service Award. Thousands of organizations will honor their volunteers during National Volunteer Week at ceremonies across the country. Members of the President?s Council will also be making special appearances during the week at service projects and recognition events throughout the country. To learn more about the program, visit www.presidentialserviceawards.gov.

The Corporation for National and Community Service provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through three programs: Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. Together with the USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation is working to build a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in America. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.org.


National Service Agency Names Rudy Mazariegos As New Chief Information Officer

(Washington, D.C.) ?The Corporation for National and Community Service announced today that Rudy Mazariegos has been named the agency?s Chief Information Officer.

As CIO, Mazariegos will lead the agency?s efforts to use technology and information to support its vast network of grantees and partners in helping to improve lives and strengthen communities. The Corporation currently uses a variety of online systems for grant application and management, recruiting, financial operations, progress reporting, member communication, and sharing effective practices with its network of more than 7,000 grantees and subgrantees. Mazariegos will oversee capital planning and technology investment, implement information security and privacy safeguards, and advise the CEO on technology enhancements to help the Corporation operate more efficiently and effectively.

?To keep the vast national service and volunteer networks connected, we need to be savvy in our use of technology,? said David Eisner, CEO of the national service agency, which administers the Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs. ?I?m delighted we have someone of Rudy?s caliber and experience to lead our efforts in using technology to help our grantees and volunteers make a difference in their communities.?

Mazariegos most recently served as deputy CIO of another federal agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, where he was responsible for modernizing the organization?s network operating system and customer service center while reducing the its information technology budget.

Mazariegos holds bachelor?s and master?s degrees from the University of Maryland University College and received an International Business Management Certificate from Georgetown University. He also is certified in computer security and received a federal chief information officer certificate from the General Service Administration CIO University. His volunteer commitments include four years as a soccer coach with the Catholic Youth Organization in Silver Spring, Md.

?Information technology is an integral part of achieving the Corporation?s goals,? Mazariegos said. ?I?m proud to be joining an agency with such an important mission and talented staff.?

In announcing the appointment, Eisner also thanked Kimberly Sweet, who served as acting CIO at the Corporation for the past six months. ?Kim did a wonderful job, leading a restructuring effort that encompassed the entire IT operation. Her knowledge of these systems will serve her well as she resumes her role as Senior Advisor at the Corporation,? he said.

The Corporation for National and Community Service strives to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. The Corporation provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. Together with the USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation is working to build a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in America. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.

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