Monday, September 15, 2014

AMERICORPS - 20th Anniverserary and More

"Bill Clinton celebrates 20 years of AmeriCorps, talks Islamic State strategy and midterm election outlook" PBS NewsHour 9/12/2014


JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  They celebrated at the White House today, 20 years after a landmark law that enshrined a domestic version of the Peace Corps.

And the man who signed that law was on hand.

With the stroke of his pen, President Bill Clinton made the AmeriCorps national service program a reality in 1993.  A year later, the first class was officially sworn in.

BILL CLINTON, Former President of the United States:  Would you all raise your right hand and repeat after me?  I will get things done for America.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  In the 20 years since, more than 900,000 participants have spent in excess of 1.2 billion hours working on projects across the U.S.  Today, that spirit of service was celebrated at the White House, as former President Clinton and hundreds of current and past AmeriCorps members joined President Obama to mark the anniversary.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  AmeriCorps has changed the life of our nation.  And now it’s up to us to make sure it continues, because we’re not just here to celebrate what’s already been achieved.  We’re here to rededicate ourselves to the work that lies ahead.

WOMAN:  Please raise your right hand.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  A new class of some 75,000 volunteers was sworn in today at the White House and around the country.  Members must be at least 17 years old and commit to volunteer for a year or two in exchange for a modest living allowance, as well as an education stipend.

Over the years, they have tutored and mentored children in underserved communities and helped rebuild after natural disasters.  Volunteers have also worked to combat hunger and on environmental conservation projects.

Matthew Little joined AmeriCorps shortly after its inception.  He worked with the service organization City Year at an inner-city school in Boston.

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