The idea of a service year is not new — with programs, big and small, making a tremendous impact in local communities for many years. Young people participating in service years have walked away with essential skills, a new sense of perspective, and a feeling of civic responsibility. At Service Year Alliance, we envision a day where these experiences are a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans.
In order to make that day a reality, this idea needs a fresh, bold approach. An approach that’s bold, adventurous, optimistic, and inclusive. One that truly represents an experience that’s transformative on three levels — for participants, our communities, and our society.
Today, three organizations — ServiceNation, the Franklin Project, and the Service Year Exchange — officially announced their merger, forming Service Year Alliance, an organization aiming to make a year of paid, full-time service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. Service Year Alliance’s vision is simple but ambitious: every year, one million young Americans engage in a service year, solving important problems while transforming their own lives.
As we launch our new, merged organization we thought it would be helpful to give some details about how Service Year Alliance came to be and our strategic direction. For those who want to get into the weeds a bit, this post is for you.
As Service Year Alliance launches, we are very proud and honored to announce we were accepted into the portfolio of the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation.
Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation is a venture philanthropy firm, which has invested in major social sector players like Kiva, The Mission Continues, IDEO.org, One Acre Fund, Taproot Foundation, and many more.
Service Year Alliance strives to grow service years in America, expanding from 65,000 opportunities today to 100,000 by 2019, and 1 million within a generation. We are proud to partner with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) — a federal agency that places more than 80,000 AmeriCorps members in 15,000 locations across the country — to boost the recruitment of young people to serve in AmeriCorps.
“Doing a service year with Teach for America changed my trajectory and got me involved in education, which I will be involved in for the rest of my life.”
“What I learned in that [service year]...is that you are an incredible ripple in this big pool that is the world around you. And all you have to do is show up.”
Summer is coming to an end and it’s almost time to head back to school! This means shopping for school supplies, choosing out an outfit for the first day of school and getting organized before heading back to class — not exactly what we had in mind for our last week of summer vacation!