AMES, Iowa -- AmeriCorps Week is May 9-16. This week and every week more than 1,000 AmeriCorps members provide community service throughout Iowa.
“The program encourages people to be involved and helps them accomplish things for their communities,” said Judy McCarthy, with the Iowa AmeriCorps State of Promise program. “AmeriCorps members help solve problems, bring communities together and set an example of caring and community spirit that America needs.”
Iowa State University Extension 4-H Youth Development hosts the Iowa AmeriCorps State of Promise program in collaboration with Iowa’s Promise and the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service. McCarthy is ISU Extension’s director for the program.
See the following news stories and interviews to learn more about AmeriCorps in Iowa.
Interest in AmeriCorps on the Rise in Iowa
Executive Director of the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service Adam Lounsbury is a strong proponent for the AmeriCorps program. AmeriCorps members are to “further the public good,” Lounsbury explained. “In Iowa about half of our programs work with youth — after school programs, mentoring programs, tutoring.”
But AmeriCorps members also work with domestic abuse shelters, weatherize homes, build and maintain trails and provide environmental education. Interest in the program is increasing in Iowa, Lounsbury said.
AmeriCorps Leads to Career Choice
Carrie Dunn says her AmeriCorps experience has helped her choose a career. She’s an AmeriCorps member with Midtown Family Community Center in Sioux City and Iowa State University Extension in Woodbury County. She is the center’s youth program coordinator.
AmeriCorps Members’ Experiences Lead to Jobs
With college graduation looming and a questionable job market ahead, what was an art major to do? Mickey Hampton decided to try AmeriCorps. That experience 10 years ago showed her how to combine her art background with her interest in working with people. Now she’s a youth development counselor with United Action for Youth, the agency she served as an AmeriCorps member.
AmeriCorps: Great for Schools, Great for Kids
When it comes to providing opportunities for Iowa’s youth, AmeriCorps members are “great for schools and great for kids,” said Bruce Karpen, junior high school principal with Centerville Community Schools and an AmeriCorps site supervisor.
AmeriCorps Is Keeping the Promise for Youth Philanthropy
If young people can get together to plan school dances and organize intramural sports, why not bring them together to plan for philanthropy in their communities? That’s what the Iowa AmeriCorps State of Promise program is doing through the Iowa Council of Foundations.
The council brings together private, public and corporate funders to make philanthropy more effective, said director Angela Dethlefs-Trettin. AmeriCorps member Joseph Piearson is making sure teens are included in decisions about how grant funds are spent in their communities.
Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775, firstname.lastname@example.org