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February 10, 1999

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Our ethic of citizen service is coming back. AmeriCorps is more than a momentary solution to our problems -- it embodies the basic American ethic that every citizen has the duty to give back to our communities and to each other.

President Bill Clinton
February 10, 1999

Today, at the University of Maryland, College Park, President Clinton will call on Congress to expand the yearly participation level in AmeriCorps to 100,000 members by 2002. The President will also kick off AmeriCorps' largest national recruitment campaign ever to challenge young people to provide service to their communities.

Giving More Americans A Chance To Serve Their Community. When he came into office in 1993, President Clinton outlined a vision for a national service program that linked responsibility to opportunity by allowing young people to serve our nation while earning funds for a college education. The result of that vision is AmeriCorps, which is bringing people of different racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds together to solve community problems and improve the lives of Americans. In the four years since its launch, over 100,000 AmeriCorps members have risen to the challenge. They have tutored children in school and after-school, organized block watches and book drives, renovated housing for low-income families, and recruited people in the neighborhood to volunteer alongside them. The President seeks to build on this success by creating more opportunities for Americans to serve through AmeriCorps. The President's fiscal year 2000 budget request includes:

  • $533 million for AmeriCorps, an increase of $106 million over last year. This new funding will enable AmeriCorps to expand to nearly 70,000 members in 2000 and 100,000 members each year by 2002. This expansion also will allow high school students to join AmeriCorps -- by serving part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer.

The Largest Recruitment Drive Ever To Get Americans Involved In Service. President Clinton is announcing the launch of the AmeriCorps Call To Service campaign, the largest-ever national recruitment drive for AmeriCorps. The President is challenging all Americans, especially young people, to get involved in service. The Call to Service campaign will:

  • Provide young people with information on how they can serve in AmeriCorps to help strengthen local communities;
  • Include a new television public service announcement produced by MTV, print advertisements, campus visits, and other local recruitment efforts.

Building On A Record Of Success. In just four years, over 100,000 young people have joined AmeriCorps to serve more than 4,000 communities. AmeriCorps provides needed human resources to schools, churches, community groups, and non-profit organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Big Brother/Big Sister, and the American Red Cross. Since 1994, AmeriCorps members:

  • Have served 32 million people;
  • Mobilized nearly 2 million volunteers;
  • Taught, tutored or mentored more than 2 million children;
  • Organized after-school programs for more than a half million at-risk youth;
  • Helped more than 200,000 senior citizens live independently; and
  • Built or rehabilitated more than 25,000 homes.

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