NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. /New York Netwire/ — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today delivered remarks at the graduation ceremony of the City’s second NYC Civic Corps class – a specially trained group of AmeriCorps members who work at nonprofit organizations and City agencies to help increase the number of volunteers they can utilize amd serve a greater number of New Yorkers in need. The NYC Civic Corps members just completed their ten-month term of service, during which they worked to create sustainable volunteer management structures within nonprofits.
During their year of service, the Civic Corps members helped 53 nonprofits and City agencies recruit more than 715,000 volunteers. The NYC Civic Corps is a key component of NYC Service, the Mayor’s comprehensive initiative to promote a new era of volunteerism in New York City and direct volunteers toward the City’s areas of greatest need. The Mayor was joined at the graduation ceremony at Gracie Mansion by First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris; the City’s Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford; Kevin Cummings, the Director of the NYC Civic Corps; and Marc Hem Lee, a member of the 2010-2011 NYC Civic Corps class, who was chosen to reflect on the collective experience of the corps members.
“The impact of this year’s class of Civic Corps members will be felt for years to come,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Civic Corps is truly the cornerstone of our NYC Service effort. It’s one of the strongest partnerships we have with our City’s many service organizations, helping to change this City for the better – and helping answer President Obama’s call to create a nation of service.”
“NYC Service is a powerful example of the how civic engagement can make a true difference in our neighborhoods, and the NYC Civic Corps has been one of the most successful and inspirational programs of this great initiative,” said First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris. “As we continue to move our City forward, NYC Service and the Civic Corps members are playing an important part in strengthening our communities and implementing innovative ways to tackle our toughest challenges.”
“In just its second year of operation, the Civic Corps’s 150 members helped organizations utilize more than 715,000 new volunteers,” said Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford. “Many of those volunteers were students in our public schools furthering our goal of promoting service as a core part of what it means to be a New Yorker.”
Civic Corps members aim to build service programs that channel volunteers toward addressing some of New York City’s most pressing challenges, including education, economic opportunity, health, clean energy and the environment. This year, Corps members recruited, managed, and trained volunteers to: mentor more than 13,000 students across the city, engage 9,500 youth in physical education activities to reduce childhood obesity, deliver education about the impact of green initiatives to nearly 3,000 disadvantaged youth, and administer support services to alleviate long-term hunger to 74,000 New Yorkers in need. In addition to leveraging volunteers, this year’s Corps raised approximately $6.6 million in funds for their host organizations, including over $977,000 in cash resources and $5.7 million in in-kind donations.
NYC Civic Corps members are dispatched in teams, typically comprised of two or three members, and this year 53 public and nonprofit organizations received a Civic Corps team. The program is made possible through a partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service and the New Yorkers Volunteer program. The federal funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service is provided through a three-year AmeriCorps grant, which will support the NYC Civic Corps for the next two years.
Nearly 162 public and nonprofit organizations and 350 individuals applied to be a part of this year’s NYC Civic Corps. Civic Corps members and host organizations were selected through a rigorous application process, screened by the AmeriCorps program and a City committee formed by NYC Service. All Civic Corps members receive a $1,163 monthly living allowance, health benefits, and an educational award, which can be used towards existing student loans or future education expenses. The application deadline for the 2011-2012 class is July 8.
The 2010-2011 class of the NYC Civic Corps:
Average age: 25 years old
Youngest corps member: 20 years old
Oldest corps member: 64 years old
Countries represented: Australia, Barbados, China, Dominican Republic, Great Britain, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Hong Kong, Italy, Jamaica, Jamaica, Nigeria, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Korea Switzerland, United States, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Members from New York City: 88
Members from New York State: 114
Other states represented: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington.
During the second year of the program NYC Civic Corps members helped build or expand volunteer programs at a wide range of organizations throughout the five boroughs. At Year Up, Civic Corps members expanded a mentorship program for at-risk youths. At the New York City Housing Authority, the Civic Corps members have successfully engaged over 1,200 volunteers in Resident Green Committees, where residents volunteer to make housing complexes more sustainable. Working with Common Cents, Civic Corps members helped provide service opportunities at hundreds of City public schools. At Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), volunteers serve as academic tutors and mentors to provide positive reinforcement about healthy lifestyle choices and decision making. The Civic Corps team placed at Computers for Youth engaged over 1,500 volunteers to assist in administering technology workshops, providing parents and students with vital computer literacy skills.
In addition to the funding provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, NYC Civic Corps benefits from the generous contributions of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund and the Lizzie and Jonathan M. Tisch Foundation.
About NYC Service
The NYC Civic Corps is the signature initiative of NYC Service, which was launched by Mayor Bloomberg in April 2009 to meet his State of the City pledge for New York City to lead the nation in answering President Obama’s national call to volunteerism. NYC Service is meeting its goals to make New York City the easiest place in the world to volunteer, target volunteer efforts to address the most pressing local challenges, and promote service as a core part of what it means to be a New Yorker. NYC Service aims to drive volunteer resources to six impact areas where New York City’s needs are greatest: strengthening communities, helping neighbors in need, improving education, increasing public health, enhancing emergency preparedness and protecting our environment.
Since its inception in April of 2009, NYC Service has engaged over 1.3 million New Yorkers in a wide range of volunteer activities, from beautifying neighborhood blocks, to providing tax assistance to low-income families, to volunteering to teach free fitness classes at City recreation centers, to coating rooftops with reflective white paint to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. NYC Service oversees 25 new or expanded volunteer initiatives and the comprehensive website, located at www.nyc.gov, has made it easier for New Yorkers to find opportunities to make a difference. More than 560,000 unique visitors to the NYC Service website had access to over 5,700 volunteer opportunities.
New Yorkers can find opportunities to serve their communities by visiting www.nyc.gov or by calling 311.