When it comes to enrolling in AmeriCorps, Minneapolis/St. Paul residents rank first among American cities, 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. Previously, the Twin Cities appeared on the list in the number two spot. The state of Minnesota ranked fifth among states for generating the most AmeriCorps members.
According to Audrey Suker, CEO of ServeMinnesota, this fall marks the 25th anniversary of AmeriCorps service to our country. “Minnesotans have a long history of embracing AmeriCorps programs. For example, Reading Corps and Math Corps are proven Minnesota programs that help students succeed in school and are replicated in 14 states and Washington, D.C.,” she said.
Suker added that there are currently service positions available. Some programs in the metro area even provide an additional housing stipend to help with expenses. AmeriCorps programs serving the Minneapolis/St. Paul area are:
- City of Lakes AmeriCorps – supporting middle school long-term English learners in developing the academic language skills they need to succeed in school.
- College Possible – making college admission and success possible for students from low-income backgrounds through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support.
- Conservation Corps Minnesota – helping youth hone their leadership skills through natural resource management and renewable energy activities.
- Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) – mobilizes AmeriCorps members to bridge the digital divide, targeting the unique technology and resource access needs of new immigrants.
- Law Enforcement Career Path Academy – building positive connections between the St. Paul Police Department and community while launching your law enforcement career.
- Minnesota Alliance With Youth – The Promise Fellows program ignites the spark in young people to become actively engaged, develop strong voices, and acquire the skills needed for success in school, work, and life.
- Minnesota GreenCorps – improving Minnesota’s environment while gaining experience and a network for your future career.
- Minnesota Math Corps -tutoring struggling 4th-8th graders to catch up to grade level in math.
- Minnesota Opportunity Corps – helping new Americans and low-income adults navigate to stable careers that pay a livable wage.
- Minnesota Recovery Corps – supporting youth and adults in sustaining their own recovery from opioid addiction.
- Minnesota Reading Corps – helping students become better, more confident readers by the end of 3rd grade.
- Total Learning Classroom – leverages the research-based strategies of Minnesota Reading Corps with the power of relationships at the classroom and individual level to improve the academic outcomes of students in high-poverty schools.
- Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity – eliminate poverty housing from the Twin Cities and to make decent, affordable shelter for all people a matter of conscience.
Since AmeriCorps programs were introduced to Minnesota in 1994, approximately 32,000 residents of Minnesota have given more than 52 million hours of service to their country and received more than $130.3 million in scholarships. This year, CNCS will invest more than $37 million in national service projects in the state, including funding for about 2,000 AmeriCorps members.
For more than two decades, dedicated Americans have chosen to strengthen education, prepare students for college, connect veterans to jobs, fight the opioid epidemic, preserve public lands, foster economic opportunity, and more through the national service program. Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through 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 ServeMinnesota.org.
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 for developing leadership skills that bridge divides, solve problems, and open doors to opportunities that advance their careers and education. In addition, research shows that alumni gain skills and are exposed to experiences that employers find valuable.
The rankings were determined by associating the permanent address of AmeriCorps members’ to a U.S. designated place and state. The analysis looked exclusively at members who served in program year 2016. 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.