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Alaska Honors AmeriCorps Members During AmeriCorps Week

(Anchorage, AK) – Alaska will join the fourth nationwide celebration of AmeriCorps Week, May 8-15 spotlighting the vital work done by AmeriCorps members in communities across Alaska since the national service program began 17 years ago.

More than 404 AmeriCorps members are serving in Alaska this year, helping students learn to read, mentoring at risk youth, providing health services, building homes for low-income families, and helping non-profits recruit more volunteers and better achieve their missions.

“We are proud to be part of AmeriCorps and grateful for the AmeriCorps members who are getting things done for Alaska,” said Nita Madsen, Executive Director of Serve Alaska, State Service Commission. “Americorps members have made a significant impact on Alaska’s ability to meet many local needs, and AmeriCorps Week is a perfect opportunity to recognize their great work.”

In the past 17 years, more than 637,000 men and women have served as AmeriCorps members and they have given more than 774 million hours of service to their country.

To mark AmeriCorps Week, there are events happening around the state, including the First Lady’s Volunteer of the Year awards in Juneau, Lt. Governor swearing in ceremony for 30 new AmeriCorps members, and the community service project ‘Spring Garden Prep’ at the Anchorage Senior Center and Anchorage Pioneer Home.

AmeriCorps works through existing organizations and helps them reach more people and better achieve their mission.  In 2009, the nation’s 85,000 AmeriCorps members recruited 2.4 million community volunteers to serve alongside them in some 3,300 non-profit and community organizations across the country.

AmeriCorps members typically remain actively engaged in their communities once their term of service is complete.  They not only can be counted on as volunteers, but they also run non-profits, marshal resources within their communities to address difficult issues and many pursue public service careers.

Upon completion of their term of service, AmeriCorps members are eligible to receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $4,725 which can be used to pay back student loans or cover future tuition costs.  And with the new Edward M. Kennedy Act, AmeriCorps members who begin service, who are 55 years plus, can also transfer their Education award to their child, grandchild, or foster child.  AmeriCorps members in Alaska have received $7,422,033 in Education awards since 1994.

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