Last week, Voices for National Service hosted the 12th Annual Friends of National Service Awards in Washington, DC. The event celebrated bipartisan leaders from the public and private sector who have worked to advance the national service movement. Several of this year’s honorees are familiar faces to City Year, and we are honored to recognize these remarkable champions for their outstanding dedication to City Year and AmeriCorps.
City Year’s Board Chair Jonathan Lavine was recognized for his unwavering commitment to the national service movement. For more than twenty years, Jonathan has worked to cultivate support for the idea that a year of service should be a common expectation and opportunity for every young person in America. Jonathan also serves on the Leadership Council for the Franklin Project, and is a member of the board of ServiceNation.
In 2008, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) worked closely with his good friend, the late Senator Ted Kennedy, to introduce the Serve America Act – landmark legislation that ushered in a new vision for growth in national service. The bipartisan law outlined a growth trajectory for AmeriCorps, and sought to focus the efforts of AmeriCorps members on areas of significant national need, including education.
When City Year launched City Year Providence, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) served as founding chairman. He immediately understood the benefits national service provides both to the local community and to the individuals who step forward to serve, and has been a strong advocate for national service in the U.S. Senate. Last year, Senator Whitehouse led his colleagues on a letter calling for continued federal investment in vital national service programs.
Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY) has been actively involved in expanding service opportunities to support young people in his home state of Kentucky. In 2003, Congressman Rogers launched Operation UNITE, a regional anti-drug initiative that empowers citizen groups and community leaders. The program harnesses the energy of AmeriCorps members to protect and educate Kentucky children and youth, encouraging them to make healthy and safe choices.
Representing Central Florida, Congressman Daniel Webster (R-FL) strives to ensure federal funds are spent wisely. He has been a longtime supporter of City Year Orlando. Congressman Webster recognizes the locally driven solutions AmeriCorps members bring to communities in need, and participated in the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps.
These are just a few of this year’s outstanding honorees. Click here to view the full slate of award recipients.
City Year is thrilled to celebrate the remarkable elected officials and corporate partners recognized at the 12th Annual Friends of National Service Awards. We are deeply grateful for the contributions of these committed individuals, and look forward to working with them in the years ahead to ensure City Year AmeriCorps members can serve more students in more communities nationwide.