May 1, 2007
AmeriCorps is designed to help strengthen and rebuild communities affected by poverty, impacted by disasters, and marked by crime. From the initial members who served during the "Summer of Safety" in 1994 to the soon-to-be 500,000th member in 2007, AmeriCorps members have been on the front lines of service every day, recruiting and managing volunteers of all ages and backgrounds -- 1.4 million in 2006 alone. Together, AmeriCorps members and the volunteers they mobilize tackle some of our nation's toughest problems: crime, illiteracy, homelessness, gang violence, and drug abuse. They teach and tutor to help students improve academically, mentor children and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, run after-school programs, reconnect prisoners with mainstream society, care for seniors, and protect the environment. This report examines the results from a longitudinal study of AmeriCorps members and surveys of members, alumni, and the organizations where members served to examine the impacts of national service on members' civic engagement, education, employment, and life skills. Findings reveal that AmeriCorps alumni are more connected to their communities, continue to participate in community activities, and choose public service careers after their service with AmeriCorps.