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Contact: Richard Vespucci
For Release: October 20, 2000

AmeriCorps Launch will Mark Seven Years of Community Service

AmeriCorps, the national community service organization, is marking seven years of service with swearing-in ceremonies of new members. Commissioner of Education David Hespe today swore in 300 new members from New Jersey on the State House steps at 10 a.m. Congressman Rob Andrews, one of the co-sponsors of the national legislation reauthorizing AmeriCorps, will keynote the afternoon portion of the event.

"AmeriCorps members support the department’s mission by increasing opportunities for students to succeed in school," Commissioner Hespe said. "The New Jersey AmeriCorps members build communities by removing debris from our waterways,combating poverty and homelessness by working with families and senior citizens in need, mentoring juvenile offenders, and generating thousands of hours of volunteer support across New Jersey."

Joining Commissioner Hespe will be Donald Bowling, chair of the New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service. "This is a day to recognize the contributions that AmeriCorps members make in communities throughout New Jersey," he said. "The New Jersey Commission is here to support your work and join with you as you address, through service, New Jersey’s human services, education, public safety and environmental needs."

AmeriCorps participants perform one year of community-based service. In return, they receive a modest living allowance and an education award of $4,725 to help pay for college or pay back student loans.

AmeriCorps will also be celebrating national "Make a Difference Day" on Saturday, October 28. To commemorate the event, the New Jersey Commission of National and Community Service and AmeriCorps members will be hosting service events throughout the state. For more information, contact Rowena Madden, 609-633-9627.