AmeriCorps Swearing In Ceremony for ServiceWorks – Initiative Aims to Addresses Youth Unemployment

2015-2016 AmeriCorps VISTA Members Part of Citi Foundation’s $10 Million Investment Reaching 25,000 Opportunity Youth in 10 Cities across the United States

Newly named community partners expand reach of ServiceWorks

ATLANTA, July 24, 2015 – Today, 75 AmeriCorps VISTA members will take the pledge of service administered by Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, as part of ServiceWorks, a national program addressing barriers to youth economic opportunity. More than 150 civic and corporate leaders, non-profit executives and elected officials will attend the swearing-in ceremony held at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Grammy-award winning artist J. Ivy will serve as Master of Ceremonies and Mark Swinton, Producer at Tyler Perry Studios, will deliver the keynote address.

“I am proud to welcome these new AmeriCorps VISTA members into the national service family today – they are the core of everything we do,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  “The service of these members will be focused on helping create opportunities for youth who find themselves at a crossroads in their lives that without direction could lead to missed opportunities in both career and educational options.  As a result of this ServiceWorks partnership, thousands of our nation’s youth will benefit with a better and brighter tomorrow.”

Through ServiceWorks, the AmeriCorps VISTA members work with youth, ages 16-24, to help them develop workplace competencies and gain leadership experience through skills training and by designing and implementing community service projects. The program was co-developed and implemented by Points of Light, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the Citi Foundation.

“ServiceWorks equips 16-24-year-olds for college and career success through volunteerism, skill building and coaching. The program increases opportunities for young adults in our communities and reinforces a culture of achievement. Our scholars are provided the tools, and the access, to greater success,” added Tracy Hoover, CEO of Points of Light.

Launched in March 2014, ServiceWorks is a key component of the Citi Foundation’s $50 million, 3-year Pathways to Progress initiative to connect 100,000 low-income youth with opportunities to improve their career readiness. A total of 225 AmeriCorps members over three years will engage 25,000 underserved young adults in 10 U.S. cities to develop the skills they need to prepare for college and careers. ServiceWorks is the nation’s largest corporate-sponsored AmeriCorps VISTA program and aligns with President Obama’s efforts to create new public-private partnerships that use national service to help solve our nation’s most pressing challenges.

“We have been inspired watching our ServiceWorks VISTAs meaningfully engage young people across the 10 cities and develop skills that will prepare them to compete in a 21st century economy” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. “The AmeriCorps VISTAs being sworn in today will continue this effort and play a crucial role in addressing the persistent issue of youth unemployment to help create more on ramps on the path to economic opportunity.”

New Host Sites Selected for 2015-16:

  • Abyssinian Development Corporation, New York, NY – Abyssinian Development Corporation provides resources and services that empower Harlem residents to realize their goals and dreams.
  • Boston Cares, Boston, MA – Boston Cares is the region's largest volunteer mobilizer, with more than 20,000 volunteer slots annually in support of more than 165 Greater Boston schools and non-profit agencies.
  • Community Preservation Development Corporation, Washington, DC – CPDC is a non-profit real estate developer dedicated to providing safe, high-quality, and affordable housing to low- and moderate-income individuals and families.
  • Education is Freedom, Dallas, TX – EIF is committed to creating an educated workforce that could build effective companies and strong communities in today’s knowledge-based economy.
  • Graham Wyndham, New York, NY – In full partnership with families and communities, Graham Windham strives to make a life-altering difference with children, youth and families affected by abuse, neglect and delinquency by providing each child served with a strong foundation for life: a safe, loving, permanent family and the opportunity and preparation to thrive in school and in the world.
  • Hands On Suburban Chicago, Chicago, IL – Hands On inspires, equips and mobilizes people to volunteer and take action that builds vibrant and prosperous communities.
  • Youth Policy Institute, Los Angeles, CA – Youth Policy Institute transforms Los Angeles neighborhoods using a holistic approach to reduce poverty by ensuring families have access to high-quality schools, wrap-around education and technology services, enabling a successful transition from cradle to college and career.

Returning Sites with Second Year Program Grants for 2015-16:

  • Casa Central, Chicago, IL – Casa Central’s network of social services propels a diverse population of all ages toward self-sufficiency and a higher quality-of-life, transforming lives and strengthening communities, with a special focus on Hispanics.
  • City Square, Dallas, TX – City Square fights the causes and effects of poverty through service, advocacy and friendship.
  • Greater Miami Service Corps, Miami, FL – Greater Miami Service Corps transforms the lives of young people through education and service activities that improve their communities and strengthen Miami’s local workforce.
  • Jersey Cares, Newark, NJ – Jersey Cares increases the level of meaningful volunteer engagement by creating and managing efficient, high-impact projects that address critical community-identified needs.
  • Public Allies, Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA – Public Allies Los Angeles (in partnership with CD tech) and Public Allies San Francisco advance new leadership to strengthen communities, nonprofits and civic participation.
  • The Door, New York, NY – The Door empowers young people to reach their potential by providing comprehensive youth development services in a diverse and caring environment.
  • United Way of Greater St. Louis, St. Louis, MO – United Way of Greater St. Louis mobilizes the community with one goal in mind – helping people live their best possible lives.

Media Contacts:

Kirstyn Martin, (404) 491-0980, kmartin@pointsoflight.org

Jonathan Moore, (301) 526-2744, jmoore@thekaikaigroup.com

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The Corporation for National and Community Service is the federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov.

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.

Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service –millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people where it’s needed most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org