Obama, Clinton mark the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps

President Obama said during a White House ceremony to hundreds of new volunteers on Friday to mark the 20th anniversary of the AmeriCorps program, 'You have made America stronger.' With nearly 1 million people spending more than 1.2 billion hours working for AmeriCorps, former President Bill Clinton said the volunteers have 'kept your promise to get things done.'

J. Scott Applewhite/AP
President Barack Obama, followed by former President Bill Clinton, arrives for a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, to mark the 20th anniversary of the AmeriCorps national service program and welcome hundreds of new volunteers to be sworn in for duty.

President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton joined forces Friday to mark the 20th anniversary of the AmeriCorps national service program, heralding the impact volunteering can have on both individuals and the nation.

"You have made America stronger for what you have done," Obama said during a White House ceremony where hundreds of new volunteers were sworn in for duty. "AmeriCorps has changed the life of our nation."

Clinton signed the legislation that created the AmeriCorps program, an act he called one of his proudest achievements. With nearly 1 million people spending more than 1.2 billion hours working for AmeriCorps, Clinton said the volunteers have "kept your promise to get things done."

At a time of partisanship and frustration with Washington, Clinton said the volunteers give him a reason to be hopeful.

"This is no time to be pessimistic about America's future," he said. "Look at you. Look at the rainbow of diversity united to advance our common humanity."

Obama announced a new initiative to encourage employers — private, nonprofit and government at all levels — to create recruitment, hiring and advancement opportunities for graduates of AmeriCorps, which operates exclusively in the U.S., and the Peace Corps, which directs volunteers to service opportunities outside the U.S.

Several private and nonprofit employers already have signed up for the effort, including Disney, Comcast, CSX, the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity, the White House said.

Obama also announced a new award to recognize the accomplishments of younger volunteers and encourage service by their peers.

In addition, an expansion of partnerships between the Corporation for National and Community Service, other federal agencies and the private sector will create thousands of new opportunities for service in communities across the country, the White House said. The corporation is the federal agency that runs AmeriCorps.

Beyond the White House, swearing-in ceremonies were also being held Friday in the 50 states and several U.S. territories.


Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Obama, Clinton mark the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today