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For immediate release: May 30, 2024
Contact: press@ocfs.ny.gov
Email: press@ocfs.ny.gov
Phone: 5184023130

NEW YORK STATE COMMISSION ON NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE HOSTS 2024 AMERICORPS NEW YORK SERVICE SUMMIT

More than 600 AmeriCorps Staff and Volunteers Attend Summit Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of AmeriCorps

Lt. Governor Antonio Delgado Presents Keynote Address

Summit Will Be Followed by Day of Service Projects on Friday, May 31

Brooklyn, New York – The New York State Commission on National and Community Service today hosted the 2024 AmeriCorps New York Service Summit to celebrate AmeriCorps 30th anniversary and recognize the valuable contributions of AmeriCorps volunteers to our communities statewide.

Over 600 AmeriCorps members and staff from across the state gathered for the summit at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. The event cast a spotlight on the successes of AmeriCorps, which aims to improve lives, strengthen communities and foster civic engagement through volunteer service throughout New York State.

Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado offered the keynote address to discuss the importance of volunteer work and giving back to communities. Delgado is overseeing the newly created New York State Office of Service and Civic Engagement. The office is spearheading Governor Kathy Hochul’s strategy of uplifting communities statewide through accessible public service opportunities.

"For three decades, AmeriCorps has created countless service and volunteer opportunities for people in New York and across the country, and today, I was honored to celebrate the tireless work of all those who make that possible," Lt. Governor Delgado said. "Through the Office of Service and Civic Engagement, we will build off the work that AmeriCorps is doing across our state and ensure that all New Yorkers have every opportunity to be connected to their communities through service."

Under Delgado’s leadership, the Office of Service and Civic Engagement will launch an inaugural class of the Empire State Service Corps in partnership with the State University of New York. Modeled after the California College Corps, the Empire State Service Corps will provide paid work opportunities to college students as a way of serving their community.

Participating college students will commit to perform necessary community service work for 300 hours a year, such as tutoring in high-need K-12 schools, distributing meals to those facing food insecurity, and taking climate action.

Other speakers and honored guests at the summit included NYS Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden; Linda Cohen, NYS Commission on National and Community Service Executive Director; Michael S. Cashman, NYS Commission on National and Community Service Chairperson; Fran Barrett, NYS Interagency Coordinator for Nonprofit Organizations; and Laura Rog, NYC Chief Service Officer.

Dr. Harris-Madden said, For decades, AmeriCorps has strengthened communities through civic engagement, partnerships, and public service. The social, economic, and educational benefits of AmeriCorps’ offerings are far reaching, affording access to natural supports and meaningful volunteer opportunities.”

In 2023 alone, AmeriCorps invested $50.6 million in New York State to support local service initiatives. More than 24,100 individuals of all ages and backgrounds united to meet local needs, strengthen communities and expand opportunities through national service. AmeriCorps hasserved at more than 1,800 locations, including schools, food banks, homeless shelters, health clinics, youth centers, veteran’s facilities, and other nonprofit and faith-based organizations across the state.

The summit ceremony will be followed by a day of service projects – including emergency food distribution and maintaining public spaces – in multiple locations in Brooklyn on Friday, May 31, from 10 a.m. to noon. The five service project sites include: City Harvest, the Joseph Miccio Community Center, Project H2O at Canarsie Beach, Sunset City Park, and city streets outside Sunset City Park at 41st Street and Sixth Avenue.

The Family Health Centers (FHC) at New York University Langone is helping to coordinate the service projects in Sunset Park and adjacent neighborhoods, including emergency food distributions with partners City Harvest.FHC was one of the first AmeriCorps programs in the nation, launching the Sunset Park AmeriCorps and HealthCorps program in 1994.  

AmeriCorps members will work to maintain public spaces in Sunset Park by forming work crews to care for street trees outside the park. Partnerships for Parks, a joint program of City Parks Foundation and NYC Parks, will lead 90 AmeriCorps members in weeding, mulching and fence-painting to beautify the park itself.

Linda Cohen, executive director of the NYS Commission, said, “Our annual AmeriCorps Service Summit is a meaningful event every year, but particularly this year, as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of AmeriCorps and three decades of essential service in New York State. It’s a time to remember the past, embrace the present and commit to the future. It’s also a time for 600-plus AmeriCorps members, staff and friends to meet one another, serve together and renew their AmeriCorps oath to ‘Get Things Done!’ The Commission is proud to host this wonderful gathering in the historic borough of Brooklyn, and we are happy to greet all of our guests from every corner of the Empire State.”

Michael S. Cashman, chairperson of the New York State Commission on National and Community Service, said, “As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of AmeriCorps, we honor three decades of unparalleled service and dedication, recognizing the incredible impact of our members who have tirelessly served and strengthened our communities. Their unwavering dedication has addressed immediate needs and laid the groundwork for lasting, positive change. We take immense pride in their contributions and remain committed to expanding service opportunities, fostering inclusivity, and inspiring the next generation to lead with compassion and purpose. The newest class taking the AmeriCorps oath is joining a legacy of service that is transforming communities and creating lasting change. Together, we can build a stronger, more resilient, and more compassionate New York and nation. Excelsior!” 

Larry McReynolds, Family Health Centers’ executive director, said, “AmeriCorps volunteers serve as the social capital that has been found to be a powerful success factor for our families. Within their full-year of dedication to service, AmeriCorps members are able to develop the long-term engagement necessary to achieve individual and community-level impact, far beyond what can be accomplished via more episodic volunteers.  We are always so impressed by what these AmeriCorps members accomplish each year.”  

City Hall Chief of Staff Camille Joseph Varlack said, “AmeriCorps members and volunteers are vital to ensuring communities are supported and New Yorkers’ needs are met. The NYC service strategic plan outlines our whole-city approach to increasing access to meaningful opportunities and a commitment to tackling important issues affecting New Yorkers.”

About the New York State Commission on National and Community Service:

The New York State Commission on National and Community Service was established in 1994 by an Executive Order and Commission members are appointed by the Governor. They represent a diverse, bipartisan, and statewide network of interested citizens and supporters of service. Follow @newyorkersvolunteer on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

About AmeriCorps:

AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, provides opportunities for Americans to serve their country domestically, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, improve lives and communities, and strengthen civic engagement. Each year, the agency places more than 200,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in intensive service roles and empowers millions more to serve as long-term, short-term or one-time volunteers. Learn more at AmeriCorps.gov

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