WASHINGTON, D.C. – Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO, visited New Orleans to see national service members in action, meet with local and federal leaders, and host an education roundtable, as well as a city-wide AmeriCorps member swearing-in event and volunteer recognition ceremony.
On Thursday, Sept. 22, Smith hosted a higher education roundtable with leaders from Tulane University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette andXavier University to discuss the newly launched United We Serve campaign. Smith shared how higher education can work together to drive President Biden's vision forward through initiatives like the Schools of National Service program. Schools of National Service are institutions that recognize the value of AmeriCorps service and offer scholarships, application fee waivers, and other benefits for AmeriCorps alumni.
Smith then joined the U.S. Conference of Mayors Workforce Development Council's Board Meeting and Annual Congressional Forum to highlight how national service programs serve as critical workforce pipelines and help individuals develop skills while also addressing urgent community needs. Smith, Atalaya Sergei, AmeriCorps Seniors director, and Devin Hamilton, PowerCorpsPHL program director, led a panel to educate top city workforce officials from across nation about the role national service can play in any community. Smith also met with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell to learn how the City is leveraging national service to meet their resident's most pressing needs.
Smith ended his trip at a city-wide AmeriCorps member swearing-in event and volunteer recognition ceremony in New Orleans. During the event, Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO, Ge'ron Tatum, Teach for America NOLA executive director, and Louisiana Volunteer representatives gave remarks about national service and volunteerism in Louisiana. Smith also awarded the President's Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Awards to two New Orleans-based volunteers who have served thousands of hours across multiple organizations.
Currently, more than 470 AmeriCorps members and 380 AmeriCorps Senior volunteers serve at more than 120 locations in New Orleans. Last year, the city received more than $2.6 million AmeriCorps funding, which was matched with nearly $1.5 million in local support.