The Corporation for National and Community Service announced $218 million in new grants to put AmeriCorps members on the ground to address critical issues in communities across the U.S.
The grants will allow for more than 44,000 Americans the opportunity to serve through AmeriCorps in 327 organizations across the country. AmeriCorps members will work in communities to strengthen education, provide disaster services, foster economic opportunity, assist veterans and military families, preserve the environment, and expand health services. A complete list of awards can be found here.
“AmeriCorps members are an indispensable resource for nonprofits, communities, and the individuals they serve,” said Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer. “Through AmeriCorps, individuals come together across the nation with the common goal to make a lasting impact on the toughest challenges facing our nation. We salute these AmeriCorps members and their commitment in serving our country.”
The 2015 AmeriCorps grant cycle was highly competitive due to the strong demand by organizations competing for AmeriCorps resources. The competition prioritized investments in economic opportunity, education, veterans and military families, disaster services, and an initiative for governors and mayors. Organizations receiving grants include Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, YouthBuild, and City Year, as well as many other faith-based and community groups.
AmeriCorps is a public-private partnership, and every AmeriCorps grantee leverages significant outside resources to operate their program. The $218 million in federal grants will leverage an additional investment of $596 million from the private sector, foundations, and other sources, strengthening community impact and increasing the return on taxpayer dollars.
In addition to the grant funding, CNCS is making available $175 million in education scholarships for AmeriCorps members serving under these grants. After completing a full term of service, members receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $5,730 to pay for college or to pay back student loans.
“While they serve others, AmeriCorps members also expand opportunity for themselves – gaining skills, experience, and college money to help them jumpstart their careers,” said Bill Basl, director of AmeriCorps. “We are looking for men and women of all ages who want to serve and make a difference for their country.”
The AmeriCorps grants include funding for some of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations for work that will improve the communities in the following areas:
- Disaster Services:With $1.8 million, Washington Conservation Corps will support 280 AmeriCorps members to provide vital emergency response services in Washington State and across the country following disasters like Hurricane Sandy and the Oso, Wash. mudslide. The AmeriCorps St. Louis Emergency Response Team will engage 35 members in providing emergency preparedness, response and recovery assistance to disaster threatened and impacted communities in Missouri and other communities across the country.
- Economic Opportunity: More than 3,400 AmeriCorps members will gain valuable career and citizenship skills while constructing and rebuilding homes for low-income communities through a $ 9.9 million dollar grant to YouthBuild USA. Grants to College Possible will support more than 160 AmeriCorps members across the country who will prepare students for success in post-secondary education through academic and college preparation.
- Education: More than 2,900 City Year AmeriCorps members will provide in-school and after-school tutoring and support for at-risk students in 20 states, resulting in improvements in academic achievement, behavior, and school attendance. More than 8,100 Teach For America AmeriCorps members will provide classroom instruction and enrichment to overcome the education achievement gap for students attending schools in under-resourced communities in across the United States.
- Environmental Stewardship:Under GRID Alternatives' SolarCorps program, 40 AmeriCorps members will gain hands-on training and skills prepare for jobs the booming solar industry, while helping retrofit 1,500 low-income homes with solar power to save energy costs. Through the Conservation Legacy AmeriCorps program, 338 AmeriCorps members will construct and improve public access trails, remove invasive species from lakes and public lands, and perform energy audits and install energy conserving measures in low-income households in Arizona, Colorado, Tennessee and New Mexico.
- Health:Throughout California, more than 150 AmeriCorps members will provide crisis intervention and parenting education to parents at-risk for child abuse and neglect through the Child Abuse Prevention Council. More than 530 AmeriCorps members serving with the National Association of Community Health Centers will work to improve healthcare for medically underserved populations in 18 states and Washington, DC.
- Veterans and Military Families:Through the University of Maryland Center on Aging Legacy Corps program, 542 AmeriCorps members will provide caregiver support services to veteran and military families in 10 states. Student Conservation Association’s Veteran Fire AmeriCorps will engage 148 post-9/11 veterans in fuels mitigation, fire prevention, fire disaster response, and post-fire restoration on public lands, helping veterans gain valuable career skills as they transition back to civilian life.
In addition to the $218 million in competitive AmeriCorps funding, CNCS is also awarding $115 million in formula funding to governor-appointed State Service Commissions. These funds will be awarded this summer to organizations in their states to support additional AmeriCorps members to increase community impact.