No child’s zip code should dictate her destiny – but for too many children, their aspirations and potential are limited by the opportunities available in the neighborhood where they grow up. And our country’s future depends on ensuring that all Americans have access to strong ladders of opportunity, no matter where they live.
That’s why we are working in partnership with local leaders in Promise Zones across the country to spur economic growth and expand educational opportunities. That’s why we created Strong Cities, Strong Communities and worked to revitalize cities like Detroit and New Orleans.
These initiatives provide more than access to federal expertise and funding – they also build human capital to help tribal and local leaders implement their plans. For instance, AmeriCorps members play a vital role in both Promise Zones and Strong Cities, Strong Communities where they help turn ideas into action.
And with an exciting new initiative from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for service and volunteering that administers AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps members will expand their efforts to support tribes and localities in growing opportunity for all.
Their Operation AmeriCorps initiative is the next phase of our efforts to focus on local needs and allow local leaders to achieve transformative change in their city or county.
Launched at last month’s National League of Cities annual meeting in Austin, TX, Operation AmeriCorps will provide an influx of AmeriCorps members as mission-driven human capital to focus on holistically solving a community’s most pressing problem.
This grant opportunity can help community leaders achieve their primary goals and lift up their communities. Goals chosen by local leaders could include ensuring every high school senior has a learning or work opportunity upon graduation, eliminating veterans’ homelessness, or ensuring that all third graders are reading at grade level.
Applications for Operation AmeriCorps are due January 13. We encourage tribal leaders, mayors, county executives, and school superintendents to take advantage of this opportunity and participate in this competition by proposing their best plans to expand opportunity for all through public service.