As an Americorps VISTA alumnus who served in Philadelphia, I am particularly delighted by this statement of support for national service programs. I believe they represent an extremely viable and already functioning opportunity to address the unemployment gap faced by recent graduates and the acquisition of debt through college education today. My time in Americorps VISTA was highly meaningful as a professional and personal development opportunity and ultimately paved the way forward for my first full time job with benefits, which I would never have gotten anyway.
Let’s expand support for national services programs across the country and foster a culture that valorizes place-based, inclusive and equitable community development initiatives and those that serve in them. Hear hear!