Written by Stevie Chilcote, VISTA Leader
A Day of Recognition
Mayors and county commissioners stand out in the political spectrum as role models of good governance, creating networks and finding place-based solutions for the benefit of their communities. In 1994, one of those solutions presented itself in AmeriCorps, and since then over one million people have served in an effort to create sustainable pathways to overcome local challenges. On Tuesday, April 4, over four thousand mayors and county commissioners from across the country will unite to recognize the work done by AmeriCorps members for Mayors and County Commissioners Recognition Day for National Service.
What is AmeriCorps?
Many programs could not exist without the support of AmeriCorps members. During a year of service, skilled people develop social media strategies, manage volunteers, teach financial literacy classes, educate students on nutrition, manage community gardens for the food bank and so much more. Mayors are meant to develop networks for their communities and therefore recognize the vital network that AmeriCorps represents both as nationwide support for struggling organizations and a talent pipeline for the newly-minted professionals in their towns.
In more than 21,000 nonprofits and faith-based organizations across the country, over 80,000 AmeriCorps members are confronting local problems and challenges. Elected officials are meant to develop interactive activities and networks for their community. One member who exemplifies this is Kim Yost from Wayne Metro in Westland. When people are at a vulnerable point in their lives, she helps people feel comfortable and in control of their finances through financial literacy classes, and her manual has been shared with CEDAM members across the state of Michigan.
In Oceana County, where 34.71% of the population have only a high school diploma, Hannah Kostal is tackling education gaps by developing a college readiness program and a childhood literacy program. An Oceana County resident, Hannah is passionate about education and works with the community foundation to help prepare students with the skills necessary to be successful.
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