FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 26, 2013
CONTACT: Januari Smith (217) 558-1544
Federal grant supports over 60 volunteer sites across Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois - Governor Quinn and his Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service today announced that the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has awarded $3.2 million to four Illinois AmeriCorps programs to better serve communities in the state.
"Our AmeriCorps volunteers serve on the front lines, directly addressing the most pressing problems that communities face," said Brandon Bodor, Serve Illinois Executive Director. "These members represent the backbone of our volunteer infrastructure in the state. Since 1994, more than 30,000 Illinois AmeriCorps members have served over 37 million hours."
Grant recipients in Illinois will use the funding for tutoring and mentoring at-risk youth, supporting rural community and economic development, and improving the health of underserved communities. CNCS is the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, and the goal of the grant is to develop and expand volunteer organizations across the country. The Serve Illinois Commission, a part of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and the Office of the Governor, administers the AmeriCorps programs in Illinois.
The four Illinois grantees competed on a national stage with hundreds of programs submitted by other state commissions. They will join an additional 25 formula funded programs that will be announced at a later date. AmeriCorps programs receiving competitive funds from CNCS:
- City Year Chicago - $2,331,200
- City Year unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service, giving them the skills and opportunities to change the world. As tutors, mentors and role models, these diverse young leaders make a difference in the lives of children, and transform schools and neighborhoods. City Year leverages the talent, energy and idealism of corps members who serve as tutors, mentors and role models to help students stay on track.
- PCC Community Wellness Center - $101,080
- PCC Community Wellness is a network of 10 community health centers located on the west side of Chicago and nearby suburbs. Members serve by promoting healthy lifestyle choices to patients and the community. They provide individual patient education in the health center and in homes, and conduct community education through collaborating schools and churches.
- Public Allies Chicago - $637,000
- Public Allies Chicago is a leadership development program that recruits diverse young adults with a passion for community service and places them into intensive non-profit capacity building apprenticeships. Public Allies combines the Asset Based Community Development approach to community building with leadership development training and non-profit best practices to give their members a well rounded non-profit and culture experience.
- Western Illinois University's Peace Corps Fellows Program - $130,000
- The Peace Corps Fellows Program is essentially a pre-professional corps of rural community and economic developers. The program recruits recently returned Peace Corps volunteers into a two-year graduate program at WIU. During their AmeriCorps service, Fellows lead community and economic development projects and are responsible for mobilizing local volunteers to assist with the implementation of projects.
AmeriCorps provides opportunities for adults of all ages and backgrounds to serve through a network of partnerships with local and national nonprofit groups. From neighborhood cleanups and building homes to tutoring children and signing up new volunteers, Illinois' 3,600 AmeriCorps members are celebrating by doing what they do best - direct service. Since 1994, more than 30,000 Illinoisans have taken the AmeriCorps pledge to "get things done for America." Those members have given back more than 37 million hours to their communities, which equates to nearly $843 million in impact. AmeriCorps members are eligible for a modest education award to pay a portion of their student loans or college courses they plan to take. Over the past 18 years, Illinoisans have earned more than $93.8 million in education awards. For more information, please visit www.AmeriCorps.gov.
About Serve Illinois
The Serve Illinois Commission is a 40 member, bi-partisan board appointed by the Governor. Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the state. The commission is accomplishing this mission through the support of local community-based efforts to enhance volunteer opportunities and the administration of Illinois' AmeriCorps program. For more information on Serve Illinois, or to find one of over 100,000 volunteer opportunities in the state, please visit www.Serve.Illinois.gov.