Indiana State receives AmeriCorps funding for 10th year

By: Dave Taylor, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
July 3, 2013

For the 10th straight year, Indiana State University will administer the AmeriCorps program in five west-central Indiana counties.

Indiana State University is responsible for administering Sycamore Service Corps, volunteers that include community residents and students from local higher education institutions.

The Indiana Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) has announced that Indiana State is among 18 organizations around the state that will share $3.3 million in AmeriCorps grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

"We are excited that we are able to continue to offer this service learning opportunity for our student and community members," said Jennifer Christiain, AmeriCorps program director in Indiana State's Center for Community Engagement. "The AmeriCorps grant enables us to provide an invaluable experience for both our members and our not-for-profit organizations. The AmeriCorps program helps Sycamore Service Corps members to become more civically minded, well rounded individuals of the ISU and greater community."

Indiana State will receive more than $175,000 to administer the AmeriCorps program that will fund more than 50 full- and part-time service members in Clay, Greene, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties. Members will be eligible to share in more than $75,000 in educational awards to help with tuition or student loans.

"Working with Indiana State University and utilizing AmeriCorps members is paramount to the success of our programming at the Booker T. Washington Community Center," said Brandon Halleck, chief operating officer of Chances and Services for Youth. "Without this support, hundreds of children would not be afforded the opportunity to attend after-school programs and summer camp. Without these services, many of our most vulnerable youth would be left unattended at home. AmeriCorps helps to ensure our children will have a chance to grow up safe, healthy and drug-free."

Chances and Services for Youth is one of 19 not-for-profit organizations in the five-county region which benefit from Sycamore Service Corps, whose members provide such services as:

• Leading youth programs and activities

• Tutoring and mentoring of teens and elementary school students

• Teaching CPR

• Providing disaster education workshops

• Assisting families in locating parenting and child care resources

• Providing music, art, exercise or pet therapy service to individuals or groups

• Organic gardening assistance

• Helping unemployed or underemployed adults with job skills.

"I congratulate Indiana's programs and thank all those who have answered the call to service by joining AmeriCorps," said Jeff Cardwell, executive director of Indiana OFBCI. "In this time of economic hardship, service and volunteering are more important than ever. These AmeriCorps members and the volunteers they mobilize will provide a vital boost to faith-based and community organizations that are meeting the needs of our state's most vulnerable citizens."

For nearly two decades, the Corporation for National Community Service has invested in community solutions across the nation -- working hand in hand with local partners to tackle community and societal challenges. OFBCI administers AmeriCorps programs in Indiana on behalf of the Indiana Commission on Community Service and Volunteerism.

The grants will support a total of 479 full- and part-time AmeriCorps state members in Indiana. Since the program's inception, more than 12,000 Indiana residents have given 16 million hours of service and have qualified for Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards totaling more than $36 million.

The organizations receiving funding were selected in a highly competitive process by the Indiana Commission on Community Service and Volunteerism. The commission plays a key role in promoting service and volunteerism throughout the state of Indiana; most notably through AmeriCorps.

Sycamore Service Corps is recruiting for 2013-14. Interested individuals can learn about available opportunities and apply online by visiting http://www.indstate.edu/publicservice/ameriCorps/.

Contact: Jennifer Christian, AmeriCorps program director, Center for Community Engagement, Indiana State University, 812-237-7900 or jennifer.christian@indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu