AmeriCorps Alums Join Service Year Alliance

AmeriCorps Alums will move from the Points of Light Foundation to become a program of Service Year Alliance. AmeriCorps Alums, which had been an enterprise of Points of Light since 2005, is the only national network that connects more than one million alumni of all AmeriCorps programs to resources that support their lifetime of service.

“Strengthening our country’s civic culture has been at the forefront of our mission for decades and Service Year Alliance is well-positioned in their current work to foster the growing network of talented and driven alumni of AmeriCorps who share this vision,” Points of Light President and CEO Natalye Paquin said in a statement announcing the partnership earlier this month.

“There is no one who better understands the power of national service to unite our country, advance our workforce, and transform lives than the over one million AmeriCorps alums who have experienced this first-hand,” said Shirley Sagawa, CEO of Service Year Alliance. The alliance was formed in January 2016 as a result of a merger of the Franklin Project at The Aspen Institute, Service Nation, a project of Be The Change, Inc., and the Service Year Exchange, a project of the National Conference on Citizenship (NCOC).

AmeriCorps Alums was a close partner of all three of the legacy organizations prior to the merger that created Service Year Alliance and that partnership only deepened once Service Year Alliance was launched, according to MacKenzie Moritz, chief of staff and chief partnerships officer who lead the conversation with Points of Light.

As part of the transition, Ben Duda, executive director of AmeriCorps Alums, will join Service Year Alliance as the new managing director of corps members and alumni.

Duda brings more than a decade of experience — including three service years of his own — to the team. In this role, he will be charged with increasing the value that service year corps members and service year alumni gain from their service year experiences, especially as it relates to improving pathways from service years to careers and higher education opportunities.

“We’ve been in discussion with AmeriCorps Alums and Points of Light over the last year about how we could work together more closely given the alignment of our work and both are thrilled by the decision to move AmeriCorps Alums to its new home at Service Year Alliance,” Moritz said.

The two goals of Service Year Alliance’s four-year strategic plan are to grow service years from 65,000 positions each year to 100,000, and “create conditions for large-scale, long-term growth.”

The announcement included the word “acquired” as opposed to “merged” because AmeriCorps Alums will continue to operate as  distinct named community within Service Year Alliance’s larger community of all service year alums (i.e., AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Youth Build, and non-federally funded service year programs), Mortiz said, and they wanted to make clear that it would not disappear once it moved to Service Year Alliance.

“Bringing AmeriCorps Alums to Service Year Alliance is an inspired solution that will build upon and fuel the work we do every day. From inspiring millions of young Americans to serve to growing the service year field and expanding funding for national service, adding the established AmeriCorps Alums brand to our organization’s existing efforts advances the service year field in an unprecedented way,” Sagawa said via a statement.

“We believe alumni of service year programs are critical to Service Year Alliance’s mission of making a service year a common opportunity and expectation because they know the power of the experience best. Bringing in AmeriCorps Alums, the largest subsector of service year alums, to become part of Service Year Alliance is an exciting development we hope the field will experience as a win-win. We are extremely appreciative of Points of Light for their partnership in this move and are excited to remain close partners with them,” Moritz said.