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Schatz Announces $2.7 Million In New AmeriCorps Funding For Hawaii

WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today announced that Hawai‘i has received $2.7 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs.

“This new funding is great news for Hawai‘i,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  “AmeriCorps members supported by these grants will serve across the state, teaching in high-need schools, improving public parks, and providing legal resources and other services to veterans and their families.”

“For more than 20 years, AmeriCorps members have had a positive and lasting impact on the toughest challenges facing our nation,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Building on Hawai‘i’s strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps members will improve lives and strengthen communities across Hawai‘i. While they serve others, AmeriCorps members will also expand opportunity for themselves - gaining skills and experience to jumpstart their careers. I salute every AmeriCorps member for his or her dedication and determination to ‘get things done’ and respond to the needs in their communities.”

The federal investment includes three grants totaling $2,084,391 which will support 531 AmeriCorps members. AmeriCorps members will tackle some of the toughest problems in Hawai‘i including teaching in high-need schools, improving public parks, providing legal aid and other services to veterans and their family members, and more.

CNCS will also provide up to $1.7 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 $6.8 million in local support to increase community impact and return on federal investment.

The federal investment announced today also includes more than $654,000 for the Hawai’i Commission on National and Community Service, the Governor-appointed state service commission. Later this summer, the Hawai’i Commission on National and Community Service will make additional grants to support AmeriCorps programs in the state.

The current year’s AmeriCorps grant cycle was highly competitive, due to the strong demand by organizations seeking AmeriCorps resources. The 2016 competition prioritized investments in economic opportunity, education, veterans and military families, disaster services, and continued a new initiative for governors and mayors.

Below is a listing of 2016 AmeriCorps competitive grants in Hawai‘i:

  • Kupu:  AmeriCorps members will assist in improving Hawai‘i’s public parks and lands using their knowledge of environmental stewardship and environmentally-conscious practices. (363 AmeriCorps members)
  • Teach for America: AmeriCorps members will serve as full-time teachers in 38 high-need schools on O’ahu and Hawai’i Island, reaching more than 5,400 students. (150 AmeriCorps members)
  • Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i: AmeriCorps members will help more than 1,545 residents, including 145 veterans or veterans’ family members, find the legal information and resources they need in Legal Aid offices and courthouse based self-help centers across Hawai‘i. (18 AmeriCorps members)

“Teach For America-Hawai‘i is grateful for the strong, continued support from AmeriCorps and Senator Schatz,” said David Miyashiro, Manager of External Affairs at Teach For America-Hawai‘i. “This financial support plays a vital role in supporting Teach For America teachers as they work on behalf of their keiki in high-need Hawai‘i public schools. AmeriCorps provides funding to our teachers to help them pay off college loans or pursue additional education, and many of our teachers earn master’s degrees in education during their time with Teach For America. Teach For America-Hawai‘i recognizes that robust partnerships at the local and national level are necessary for a strong movement to end educational inequity.”

AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in intensive service annually to serve through nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations at 21,000 locations across the country. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.

Over the past two decades, more than 980,000 Americans have served in AmeriCorps providing more than 1.3 billion hours of service, and earning more than $3.1 billion in education scholarships. Later this year, the one millionth AmeriCorps member will take the AmeriCorps pledge, committing to ‘get things done’ for America.

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund, and the Volunteer Generation Fund, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit .