Welcoming Refugee Americorps

This week, our ECDC Refugee AmeriCorps Program Specialist Elizabeth Carlberg wrote about ECDC’s new Americorps program, and reflected on the importance of Americorps Week (March 7-11). 

On behalf of ECDC, I am happy to announce that our Refugee AmeriCorps program is underway! Developing the program has been in the works for years, and I am really grateful to have come on board in November to help get the program off the ground. It is truly fulfilling to see everyone’s hard work finally come to fruition!

ECDC’s Refugee AmeriCorps officially began on February 8, and as of this week 9 of our 10 members are in service. This week is also AmeriCorps Week 2016, a time to recognize the change effected by AmeriCorps members and alums across the country.  So, this is great timing to acknowledge the effort and dedication of all those involved in the program, particularly the amazing staff at our affiliates and their new AmeriCorps members. I also encourage you all to go to social media this week to  share how #AmeriCorpsWorks in your communities throughout the country.

As for our program, ECDC’s Refugee AmeriCorps members will be increasing economic opportunity and self-sufficiency for resettled refugees across  10 ECDC affiliate and branch offices that serve as the program’s operating sites. We look forward to sharing more details of their efforts as the year progresses.

To create this program, ECDC joined with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the AmeriCorps Partnership Challenge, where nonprofit organizations (like ECDC) and their funding partners (like ORR) develop programs to address community needs by engaging individuals as AmeriCorps members. ECDC is one of many voluntary agencies who have partnered with ORR to create new AmeriCorps programs under the Partnership Challenge. Of course, this program could not be possible without the team effort between ECDC National Office and our affiliate and branch offices across the country.

As an AmeriCorps alum myself, I vouch for the amazing impact the AmeriCorps program has on communities and individuals, both those being served and those serving. I am proud to be  “Made in AmeriCorps,” and I hope our Refugee AmeriCorps members will benefit from their service experience as much as I have. In fact, I see it as my job to ensure that they do.

In closing, welcome to our first cohort of Refugee AmeriCorps members and best of luck in your service year!

In service,

Elizabeth Carlberg, ECDC Refugee AmeriCorps Program Specialist

AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in intensive service annually to serve through nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations at 25,000 locations across the country. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve. Since 1994, more than 900,000 Americans have provided more than 1.2 billion hours of service to their communities and country through AmeriCorps. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.

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