When it comes to enrolling in AmeriCorps, West Virginia residents rank #2 in the nation, according to new data released today by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers the AmeriCorps program and leads the nation’s National Service and volunteer programs.
In West Virginia, AmeriCorps programs are implemented by Volunteer West Virginia, the State’s Commission for National and Community Service.
"I am thrilled that West Virginia ranks #2 in the nation for producing AmeriCorps members," said Heather Foster, Executive Director of Volunteer West Virginia. "This is a great accomplishment – and speaks to the hard-working, patriotic values that West Virginians are raised on!"
This fall marks the 25th anniversary of the AmeriCorps program and Volunteer West Virginia. In that time 13,000 residents of West Virginia have given more than 20 million hours of service to West Virginia and received more than $34 million in scholarships. This year, CNCS will invest more than $13 million in West Virginia through National Service projects, including funding for more than 1,100 AmeriCorps members.
AmeriCorps members can be found throughout West Virginia tackling the state’s toughest challenges. West Virginia’s AmeriCorps volunteers tutor and mentor children; increase access to healthy and local food; provide children with nutritious meals through the summer months; develop heritage sites and preserve historic towns; and much more.
AmeriCorps programs in West Virginia include: AmeriCorps on the Frontline, Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area, Energy Express, Grow Ohio Valley, High Rocks, LifeBridge AmeriCorps, Appalachia HealthCorps, Preserve West Virginia, Step by Step Strength Corps, and WVU Collaborative Direct AmeriCorps.
Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve at 21,000+ schools, nonprofits, and community and faith-based organizations across the country.
Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 1.1 million AmeriCorps members have served providing more than 1.6 billion hours of service and earning more than $3.6 billion in education scholarships, more than $1 billion of which has been used to pay back student debt. Those interested in joining AmeriCorps can learn more at AmeriCorps.gov/Join
A growing body of research
shows that service has an effect on more than just the communities served, but also on the members themselves. AmeriCorps alumni credit their year of service with developing leadership skills that bridge divides, solve problems, and open doors to opportunities for career and education advancement. In addition, research shows that alumni gain skills and are exposed to experiences that communities and employers find valuable.
The rankings were determined by associating the permanent address of AmeriCorps members to a U.S. designated place and state, including the District of Columbia. For this analysis, a small city was defined as any place with a population greater than or equal to 100,000 people and less than 250,000 people. A large-sized city was defined as any place with a population greater than or equal to 250,000. States and cities listed produce the highest number of AmeriCorps members per capita. The District of Columbia was considered a state for these rankings.
About Volunteer West Virginia
Volunteer West Virginia is the state’s Commission for National and Community Service. The agency challenges West Virginians to strengthen their communities through service and volunteerism by identifying and mobilizing resources, promoting an ethic of service, and empowering communities to solve problems and improve the quality of life for individuals and families. For more information, visit www.volunteerwv.org.
AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, and leads the nation’s volunteering and service efforts. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov