Service Year Alliance
Three Organizations Merge; Announce Service Year Alliance to Make a Year of Service a Common Expectation & Opportunity for All
WASHINGTON, DC – 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 Americans, we have a history of coming together to solve our most pressing challenges. The decision for these three organizations to merge was not easy, but we have come together to bring this vision to life because now is the time to act,” said General Stanley McChrystal (Ret.), Chair of the Board of Service Year Alliance. “Service years at scale can bind our diverse nation together, building a shared identity among young people of different backgrounds and inspiring a renewed sense of citizenship at a time when our country needs it most. A service year provides this next generation with an opportunity to develop leadership and professional skills, make an impact on the lives of others, and become the active citizens our nation needs.”
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. The organization’s strategic plan to reach this goal includes:
- Building a state-of-the-art online marketplace and resource hub for service years;
- Inspiring the next generation through a first-ever national recruitment and awareness campaign for service years;
- Expanding service years in specific places across America in order to address local challenges;
- Working with issue-area experts, nonprofits, companies, and higher education to develop new models for service years to solve important problems facing communities;
- Building a powerful grassroots movement, a Washington, DC policy shop, and an alliance of influential Americans engaging the most strategic members of Congress and the presidential administration.
Service Year Alliance has partnered with the Corporation for National & 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.
“We are thrilled to partner with Service Year Alliance to inspire the next generation to serve in AmeriCorps and we want to offer our congratulations to these three organizations for coming together to promote service years in America,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “By uniting our efforts and resources, we will foster even more public-private collaboration and encourage the growth and investment in AmeriCorps. This partnership comes as we prepare to induct the one-millionth AmeriCorps members, so this is another example of the growing interest and vitality of efforts to recruit the next one-million members to serve through AmeriCorps.”
With previous funding and a new challenge grant supported by Cisco, Service Year Alliance has developed and launched the Service Year Exchange — a groundbreaking online marketplace that connects young people who want to serve with organizations that host service year opportunities — and today, nearly 25,000 service year opportunities are hosted on the platform.
“I am proud to see Cisco’s commitment to this platform come to life this week with the official launch of Service Year Alliance,” said Tae Yoo, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs at Cisco and Service Year Alliance board member. “I have seen first-hand the service year movement adapt and grow over twenty years from a handful of pioneering programs to a robust network of innovative organizations. Today, for the first time, these organizations are connected to learn and grow together with support from Service Year Alliance, truly representing a new day for the service year community and America.”
Service Year Alliance is partnering with cities, nonprofits, corporations, and higher education institutions to help meet local needs, tackle pressing issues, and make a service year part of growing up in America. From incentivizing a year of service in higher education, helping address pressing challenges in local communities like New York and Chicago, and teaming up with companies like Airbnb to support young people throughout their service year, Service Year Alliance is helping to build the movement to expand service year opportunities.
“In communities across the nation and around the world, tens of thousands of service year corps members are already working to address local needs — making a huge impact on important issues such as education, inequality, opportunity youth, the environment, and health,” said Shirley Sagawa, CEO of Service Year Alliance. “Imagine the impact if we unleash the energy and idealism of the next generation of young Americans through a service year. With this merger, the service year community has the plan in place and is poised to achieve these ambitious goals.”
To learn more about Service Year Alliance and discover ways for you to get involved, visit serviceyear.org.
About Service Year Alliance
Service Year Alliance is working to make a year of paid, full-time service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. A service year before, during, or after college — or as a way to get back on track — gives young people the chance to transform their lives, make an impact in their community, and become the active citizens and leaders our nation needs. Expanding service years has the power to revitalize cities, uplift and educate children at risk, and empower communities struggling with poverty. It can unite the most diverse nation in history, binding people of different backgrounds through common cause. Service Year Alliance is asking nonprofits, higher education institutions, cities and states, companies and foundations, policymakers of both parties, and people of all ages to join the movement. Learn more at serviceyear.org.
Service Year Alliance is a joint venture of Be The Change, Inc. and The Aspen Institute.