New publication features innovative AmeriCorps and volunteer programs in 21 states

The 2014 edition of Transforming Communities through Service: A Collection of the Most Innovative AmeriCorps State and Volunteer Generation Fund Programs in the United States features case studies of programs in 21 states.

The 2014 edition commemorates the 20th Anniversary of AmeriCorps and state service commissions, the statewide governor-appointed agencies leading the nation’s service movement and AmeriCorps State programming.

“The publication highlights the role of states as laboratories for service and fosters new models for addressing a variety of pressing social issues,” said Tom Branen, executive director of America’s Service Commissions.

“National and community service programs are providing opportunities for citizens to play an active role in addressing community needs,” stated Susan Stroud, executive director of Innovations in Civic Participation. “We hope everyone who reads these profiles will be inspired by the tales of ordinary citizens transforming their communities through service.”

Programs featured in the publication are addressing a range of issues from early childhood literacy to public safety. In addition to highlighting the program’s primary focus area, the publication recognizes those programs having a significant impact in the focus areas of rural communities, veterans and military families, and disaster services.

The publication is available electronically at www.icicp.org and www.statecommissions.org.​ Download the publication directly here.

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About America’s Service Commissions
America’s Service Commissions is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing and promoting the 53 governor-appointed state service commissions across the United States and territories with the mission to advance national service, volunteerism, and the network of state service commissions. Learn more: www.statecommissions.org.

About Innovations in Civic Participation
Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP) is a nonprofit organization supporting the development of innovative high-quality youth civic engagement policies and programs both in the US and around the world. ICP is a leader in the global movement to promote sustainable development and social change through youth civic engagement. We embrace a positive view of young people that recognizes their potential to create beneficial and lasting social change in their communities through active participation in service opportunities. Learn more: www.icicp.org.

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Meet ASC Board Member, Kelsey Pettus

Kelsey Pettus is a Youth Commissioner for Volunteer Mississippi and represents Youth Commissioners as a Board Member for America’s Service Commissions.

Pettus1. How did you get to where you are today?

Currently, I am a student at the University of Mississippi where I am a part of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. My parents have instilled in me the importance of hard work and determination. Because of their love and support, I have been able to achieve many goals that I have set for myself, and I am determined to reach future goals. I give my parents full credit for the person that I am today, and I am so thankful for their encouragement.

2. What has been your best moment so far serving with your state commission?

Two years ago, I was given the honor to serve as Chair for the Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence (GIVE) Awards. The GIVE Awards give Volunteer Mississippi and the Office of the Governor the opportunity to honor those who have made a difference in their communities and the state of Mississippi through service each year. I was so honored to be able to meet some outstanding people and thank them for their service and leadership in the state of Mississippi. Their stories inspired me to become more involved with certain service opportunities that are presented throughout my community and the state of Mississippi. It was truly an inspiring and memorable experience, and I am so thankful that I got to be a part of it.

3. What keeps you motivated?

As a student at the University of Mississippi, hearing the success stories of mentors, teachers, and older students is what keeps me motivated. I aspire to one day attend medical school and become a practicing doctor, so when I hear stories of people older than me who have worked hard to reach their goals, I am motivated to continue striving towards my own goals. The great hope that I have for my future and the love and support that I receive from my family and friends are enough to motivate me to one day become successful.

4. In one word what would you describe as your greatest strength?

Determined