AmeriCorps at 20

Celebrating over 1.2 billion hours of service

AmeriCorps at 20
Photo by Jana Birchum

This Friday, AmeriCorps will host the state of Texas' largest ever swearing-in ceremony. The reason for this critical mass of eager, earnest do-gooders? The program celebrates 20 years in operation, and the Texas organization that implements it, OneStar Founda­tion, celebrates 10 years in the field.

Each fall, the new crew of AmeriCorps service folks gets sworn in, and it's a pretty big deal. From young people serving on disaster-relief projects through AmeriCorps' FEMA Corps or National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) to initiatives like the 4-H or A Community for Education (ACE) reading tutor program, all come together to commence the year with a pledge.

Nationally, since the corps was founded in 1994, more than 900,000 members have served, accounting for over 1.2 billion hours of assistance to nonprofits and communities. And in Texas, more than 45,000 have served 59 million hours.

This year's "class" will gather at 9:30am in the LBJ Auditorium (2313 Red River) on the UT campus and be congratulated by speakers such as LBJ Presidential Library Director Mark Updegrove and former Austin City Council Member Randi Shade, who helped launch AmeriCorps in Texas when she worked as an aide in Gov. Ann Richards' office. The pledges will be sworn in by the Corporation for National and Community Service in Washington, D.C., and joined by more than 80,000 other AmeriCorps members and alums via live stream. 

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