Clinton on Peace Corps Expansion

 

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Here’s what Clinton proposes to build what she calls a “culture of service”

  • Grow AmeriCorps: Draw on new AmeriCorps members to recruit, train, and lead the Reserve. AmeriCorps members serve for a year, receiving a modest living allowance and college scholarship funds. Clinton has pledged to expand AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000 members annually and double the college scholarship each member receives for their service. Some of these additional AmeriCorps members will help organize the Reserve.
  • Increase Full Time Service: Dramatically expand year-long service positions, with the vision that every person who wants to serve full-time can do so. She has pledged to create 250,000 annual slots in AmeriCorps and will work with private and nonprofit leaders to even further grow the program to increase the number of citizens engaged in national service.
  • Create a Culture of Service: Engage returning veterans as well as Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and other national service alumni in the Reserve as a way for them to continue to contribute to the common good. Research shows that those who complete national service are more likely to continue to serve by volunteering. The Reserve provides a structured way for them to continue to serve in their communities – and an on-ramp to full-time service for Reservists who want to take their service commitment to the next level.
  • Build on Older Americans’ Lifetime of Experience: Expand service opportunities for encore participants. Clinton wants to expand service opportunities for all Americans throughout their lives, with a special focus on people over age 55. To this end, as part of her AmeriCorps expansion, she will work to fulfill the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act Act goal of having 10 percent of AmeriCorps members be encore participants, which would create tens of thousands of new opportunities for Americans over age 55. She will also explore innovative models to allow older Americans to use the skills they have learned over a lifetime to improve their communities.
  • Strengthen International Service: Grow Peace Corps to create additional opportunities for Americans to serve in countries around the world. Building on a 55 year history of success, Clinton will increase the number of Peace Corps volunteers to provide the human capital resources to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.

Clinton’s National Service Reserve would allow Americans pitch in with ongoing service projects addressing the addiction epidemic or helping the homeless, or perhaps to help provide emergency relief in national disasters and situations such as the water crisis in Flint, Mich. Clinton plans to work with corporations and universities to ensure “reservists” get paid time off to volunteer or, in the case of students, college credit.

“The Reserve will provide a vehicle for the sense of civic ownership and responsibility that Clinton has felt throughout her life, bringing Americans from all backgrounds together in common cause to make a difference where they live,” the Clinton campaign said in a statement.

Clinton is aiming to enroll 5 million people in the program, with a special focus on millennials, as studies show those age 18 to 30 are particularlyinterested in volunteerism. In fact, existing national volunteer organization AmeriCorps has received five times more applications than it has spots to fill, and the Peace Corps has seen a 32% increase in applications.

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