AmeriCorps began in 1993 with the signing of the National and Community Service Trust Act by President Bill Clinton. This established the Corporation for National and Community Service and connected all domestic community service programs within one central organization. This was built upon the first National Service Act signed by President H. W. Bush and also incorporated two existing national service programs; VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) created by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC.) Bill Clinton perhaps summed up the spirit of AmeriCorps best while swearing in the first class of AmeriCorps members in 1994 (a class of 20,000), when he said, “Service is a spark to rekindle the spirit of democracy in an age of uncertainty. When it is all said and done, it comes down to three simple questions: What is right? What is wrong? And what are we going to do about it?” Shelly Seymore of Batesville thinks of AmeriCorps as the civilian service alternative to a military service. From tutoring and mentoring disadvantaged youth and fighting literacy, to responding with disaster
This Season Of Giving Part 3 AmeriCorps’ Newest Volunteers
relief and cleaning parks and streams, AmeriCorps is an opportunity to better your community. Seymore says that AmeriCorps is a full range of service programs and they plug people into their strengths and skill set to offer educational and labor services to improve every community. Seymore, a student at UACCB, is finishing an associate degree in liberal arts and looking to earn a bachelors degree in the same and looks forward to helping promote literacy in Independence County. She says, “Literacy is such a huge factor in helping people succeed, it is a significant tool.” Seymore came across AmeriCorps in a student email that peaked her interest and having lived in Germany with her husband, she enjoys interacting with other cultures. She is a photographer, reader, facilitator of Bible study groups, and a dedicated volunteer in this community. Seymore adds, “I would like to express my appreciation for our Armed Forces men and women and their families in the spirit of your issue theme. My husband is a veteran and I understand the sacrifice so many make for our freedoms here at home. They give without Feature part 3 continues on page 37
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