On June 2, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) and U.S. Representatives Garret Graves (R-LA-6) and Cedric Richmond (D-LA-2), announced that Louisiana has received $7.9 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs.

The federal investment includes nine grants totaling over $4.5 million, which will support 722 AmeriCorps members. AmeriCorps members will tackle some of the toughest problems in Louisiana, including tutoring and mentoring disadvantaged youth and rebuilding communities impacted by disasters.

CNCS will also provide up to $3.8 million in education scholarships for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants to help pay for college, vocational training, or pay back student loans. The federal investment is projected to generate an additional $28.4 million in local support to increase community impact and return on federal investment.

The federal investment announced today also includes $2.1 million for Volunteer Louisiana, the Governor-appointed state service commission. Later this summer, Volunteer Louisiana will make additional grants to support AmeriCorps programs in the state.

“AmeriCorps members dedicate their time to serve their communities and are a valuable resource for those in need,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We are proud to secure this funding to help them continue the great work they do for Louisiana communities.”

"This federal investment – supplemented multiple times over by private donations – is geared toward community recovery, improving education and helping people find pathways to independence and out of the cycle of poverty and government dependence. ?AmeriCorps teams joined thousands in our community to help gut, clean and rebuild tens of thousands of flooded homes in our area while City Year team members are working in many of our schools helping to chart a better course for our youth,” said Rep. Graves.

“AmeriCorps develops our next generation of leaders through service while lifting up communities that need the most help,” said Rep. Richmond. “Investing in this distinguished program will pay dividends for not only the AmeriCorps members but also Louisiana as a whole.”

Below is a listing of 2017 AmeriCorps competitive grants in Louisiana:

St. Bernard Project: AmeriCorps members will support rebuilding efforts in Greater New Orleans communities impacted by disasters. (140 AmeriCorps members)

Recovery Louisiana Delta Service Corps: AmeriCorps members will provide capacity building services in the southeastern Louisiana delta region, leveraging volunteers to increase the effectiveness of the partner organizations they serve.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana: AmeriCorps members will implement the after-school learning initiative in Boys & Girls Club sites in New Orleans, Covington, Gretna, and Slidell, Louisiana, bridging knowledge and skills gaps for at-risk youth. (48 AmeriCorps members)

Communities in Schools: AmeriCorps members will assess, mentor, and provide social skills groups to treat the needs of disadvantaged, at-risk, underserved, disabled, or economically disadvantaged youth in 10 New Orleans public schools. (20 AmeriCorps members)

Up2Us Sports Coaches Louisiana: AmeriCorps members will serve as coach-mentors to provide sports-based youth development mentoring in the Greater New Orleans area.

Teach For America Louisiana: AmeriCorps members will teach for two years in low-income and disadvantaged schools in South Louisiana, Greater New Orleans, and the Louisiana Delta. (24 AmeriCorps members)

ReNEW Schools: AmeriCorps members will provide direct tutoring in reading and math in six high-poverty schools in New Orleans. (24 AmeriCorps members)

City Year New Orleans: AmeriCorps members will provide academic and school engagement services to students in six public charter schools in New Orleans, Louisiana. (60 AmeriCorps members)

City Year Baton Rouge: AmeriCorps members will provide academic services that keep students enrolled in school and on track to graduate in 12 East Baton Rouge public schools. (109 AmeriCorps members)

Last fall, AmeriCorps celebrated a major milestone when the program surpassed one million members pledging to “Get Things Done” for America. AmeriCorps engages more than 80,000 members in intensive service annually to serve through nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations at 21,600 locations across the country. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.

Since 1994, more than 1 million men and women have served in AmeriCorps, providing more than 1.4 billion hours of service and earning more than $3.3 billion in scholarships to pay for college, more than $1 billion of which has been used to pay back student loan debt.

Contributed Report