From Shirley Sagawa, CEO, Service Year Alliance
"Senator Harris Wofford will be remembered for his extraordinary public service — marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., advising President Kennedy on civil rights, leading two colleges, and serving in the Senate. In fact, his own record of service in and outside of government makes it easy to overlook one of his most important legacies: calling other Americans to serve.
Thanks to Harris’s tireless work, AmeriCorps thrived in the face of opponents’ efforts to defund the program and today, sends 75,000 Americans every year to serve in programs run by national nonprofits, service and conservation corps, and thousands of grassroots organizations.
Harris remained with the cause long after he left AmeriCorps in 2001. Most recently, he served on the Service Year Alliance Leadership Council. And although he was well over 90, he made every meeting and remained a close advisor, continuing to believe strongly in our cause: to make a year of service a common opportunity and expectation for all young Americans.
It was Harris’s lifetime of service — in the military, government, and as a citizen volunteer — that convinced him that our country needed national service not just to meet pressing community challenges, but to develop the public-spirited leaders we so badly need.
Service Year Alliance continues to work toward this goal because we need more Harris Woffords today in every American institution in and outside of government. If we succeed, it will be due in large part to his legacy."