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The City of New York and the Citi Foundation Join Nationwide Celebration of AmeriCorps’ 20th Anniversary with Signature Swearing-in Ceremony in New York City

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Today, the City of New York and the Citi Foundation welcomed a new class of New York AmeriCorps members, as part of a nationwide ceremony to mark AmeriCorps’ 20th anniversary. This morning’s event at Citi Field kicks off a year of national service for more than 4,000 AmeriCorps members in New York City. The Citi Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer Brandee McHale, members of NYC Service, and New York City Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery participated in the AmeriCorps pledge ceremony.

“New York City is proud to join the Citi Foundation in welcoming the new AmeriCorps members pledging to serve their fellow Americans today,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “From recruiting to mobilizing hundreds of thousands of volunteers that devote millions of hours to giving back, today New Yorkers renew their commitment to public service and set forth to do more for the good of others in the coming year.”

“We are proud to partner with Mayor de Blasio to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the AmeriCorps program at Citi Field,” said Ed Skyler, Chairman of the Citi Foundation. “As the largest corporate AmeriCorps VISTA sponsor, we understand the importance of service and appreciate the ability of AmeriCorps members to support communities across the country. I want to thank all the AmeriCorps members for their commitment to improving our nation’s future.”

“AmeriCorps members make a powerful impact on the toughest challenges facing our nation,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National Service, the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps. “Building on New York’s strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps members have improved countless lives across New York over the past 20 years. AmeriCorps has become an indispensable solution for America’s communities.”

The ceremony was part of a nationwide, simultaneous swearing-in of AmeriCorps members taking place in every state on the same day. President Barack Obama led the nationwide ceremony and delivered remarks to AmeriCorps members at the White House and AmeriCorps members from coast-to-coast took the pledge, launching a new service year for 75,000 AmeriCorps members.

The new class included members of ServiceWorks – the largest corporate-sponsored AmeriCorps VISTA program – funded by the Citi Foundation and launched in partnership with Points of Light in July. ServiceWorks will deploy a total of 225 AmeriCorps VISTA members to engage 25,000 young people in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. This program is a key component of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress campaign, a three-year, $50 million commitment to jumpstart economic opportunities for 100,000 young people in 10 U.S. cities, including New York.

Today’s event at Citi Field is supported by the work of NYC Service, which was created in 2009 by the City of New York in response to President Obama’s national call for volunteerism. NYC Service – led by Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin – just launched its sixth consecutive year of the NYC Civic Corps: an AmeriCorps program that places 105 talented individuals at nonprofits and City agencies for 10 months to build volunteer capacity. NYC Civic Corps is one of the 12 Strategic Programs of NYC Service, a unit of the NYC Office of the Mayor with the mission to promote volunteerism for all New Yorkers and help more New Yorkers connect to service opportunities more easily.

At the end of its most recent term, NYC Civic Corps mobilized 695,629 volunteers that contributed more than 2.4 million hours of service toward improving the lives of New York City residents and its many communities. During the coming term, NYC Civic Corps will continue to serve New Yorkers across a variety of areas including disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environment, health, and veterans services. AmeriCorps members serve at more than 25,000 locations from coast to coast, strengthening education, providing disaster services, fostering economic opportunity, assisting veterans and military families, preserving the environment, and expanding health services. While they serve others, AmeriCorps members also expand opportunity for themselves – gaining skills, experience, and education support to help jumpstart their careers. Since 1994, AmeriCorps members have earned more than $2.7 billion in education awards to help pay for college or repay their student loans.

President Obama’s participation in the nationwide ceremony underscores the long history of bipartisan presidential support for AmeriCorps, from President George H. W. Bush signing the first national service legislation in 1990, to President Clinton creating AmeriCorps in 1993, to President George W. Bush increasing AmeriCorps by 50 percent.

About AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund, and the Volunteer Generation Fund, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

About the Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress in communities around the world and focuses on initiatives that expand financial inclusion. We collaborate with best-in-class partners to create measurable economic improvements that strengthen low-income families and communities. Through a “More than Philanthropy” approach, Citi’s business resources and human capital enhance our philanthropic investments and impact. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.

About NYC Service

NYC Service is fulfilling its mission and its goals of promoting volunteerism for all New Yorkers and helping more New Yorkers connect to service opportunities more easily. NYC Service targets volunteers to address New York City’s greatest needs by mobilizing the power of volunteers to impact six areas: Strengthening Communities, Education Excellence, Economic and Workforce Development, Health and Well Being, Environment, and Emergency Preparedness and Response. In addition to these six areas, NYC Service seeks to elevate Youth Volunteer Service as a leadership and development strategy for our city. For more information, visit nyc.gov/service

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