Lt. Gov. Landrieu Issues Call to Serve -- 03/04/2008
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2008
Lt. Gov. Landrieu Issues Call to Serve
Visit http://my.americorps.gov to Apply by May 15
NEW ORLEANS - Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu challenged volunteers to spend a summer making a difference, working as part of the AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates Program. VISTA, or Volunteers in Service to America, will give 150 people the opportunity to provide enrichment programs, academic tutoring, and recreational activities for more than 11,000 children and youth in New Orleans.
"This is how we are going to rebuild our city and our state," said Landrieu. "Not just brick by brick, but person by person. It takes a fierce dedication to give a summer to helping others. That kind of compassion and dedication to our state's future is what Louisiana needs to be reborn."
The ten-week program, a collaboration among the Lt. Governor's Louisiana Serve Commission, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the Greater New Orleans Afterschool Partnership, links volunteers with partner agencies for a variety of service opportunities.
"AmeriCorps members serving across this state improve our communities and the lives of our most vulnerable citizens," said Gary Wheat, interim executive director of the Louisiana Serve Commission. "In 2008, members are serving in 35 parishes. They are restoring our valuable wetlands, gutting and rebuilding damaged homes, and performing other valuable environmental and social service activities. As we continue to rebuild from the hurricanes, this summer initiative underscores the powerful role that AmeriCorps members can play in engaging youth in safe and constructive activities during the summer months."
Last year, 134 AmeriCorps VISTA members worked with 16 local agencies to support programming for 7,125 children and youth in New Orleans. These VISTA members spent more than 28,500 hours in direct service enrichment and literacy activities. VISTA members receive a living stipend plus a $1,000 educational award upon successful completion of their service. Individuals aged 18 and older who wish to serve with this program may apply online at http://my.americorps.gov. The deadline for applications is May 15.
This year, host agencies are: American Friends Service Committee, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, Children's Defense Fund, Crossroads Project for Art, Learning & Community, Desire Street Ministries, Excel Star, Inc., Jefferson Youth Foundation, KIDsmART, Kingsley House, Louisiana Children's Museum, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, New Orleans Outreach, New Orleans Public Library, NOLA 180 - Langston Hughes Academy Charter School, New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD), Open World Family Services, Inc., Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, Stage to Stage/CCL Youth Theater, Trinity Christian Community, Tulane University Upward Bound Program, Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training, YMCA of Greater New Orleans, Young Audiences/Arts for Learning, Youth Empowerment Project and Youth Study Center.
The Louisiana Serve Commission was established in the Office of the Lt. Governor in 1993 to rekindle the spirit of service among the citizens of Louisiana. The Louisiana Serve Commission's mission is to build and sustain high-quality programs that meet the needs of Louisiana's citizens and to promote an ethic of volunteer service. The Commission administers the AmeriCorps State and Learn & Serve America grants and manages the online statewide volunteer portal www.volunteerlouisiana.gov.
For more information, log onto www.volunteerlouisiana.gov, or call toll free: 866-286-3835.