Governor Wes Moore celebrated Volunteer Maryland’s 30th anniversary during an AmeriCorps service event at the Baltimore Community ToolBank in Baltimore City. The event was attended by AmeriCorps State and National Director Sonali Nijhawan, Volunteer Maryland AmeriCorps members and alumni, and staff from both Volunteer Maryland and the Governor’s Office of Service and Volunteerism.
The governor had earlier proclaimed AmeriCorps Week in Maryland and joined the event to honor the contributions of the many organizations and individuals who define both the legacy and future of service in Maryland.
“Throughout my life, I’ve witnessed first-hand how service directly addresses real problems in our communities, provides our young people with the training they need to thrive, and opens the door to new career opportunities. And crucially, people who serve stick together,” said Governor Moore. “The good folks at AmeriCorps, Volunteer Maryland, Baltimore Community ToolBank, and many other organizations across our nation are harnessing the power of service to build a brighter future, and I’m proud to call them partners in our effort to build a state that serves. Because service will be the thing that saves our state.”
AmeriCorps week is an annual celebration to recognize the more than 1.2 million Americans who have served their country through AmeriCorps programs. Since Volunteer Maryland’s inception in 1992, more than 800 individuals have served as AmeriCorps members in Maryland, successfully recruiting more than 135,000 volunteers who served more than 2 million hours at more than 350 organizations across Maryland.
The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism currently oversees 16 AmeriCorps programs funded in part by more than $4.9 million in AmeriCorps grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service. This year’s AmeriCorps Week saw several programs lead service projects across the state.
Service is the guiding principle of the Moore-Miller administration. On his first day in office, the governor ordered the creation of the Department of Service and Civic Innovation to consolidate and elevate the agencies of state government that support service opportunities. The governor’s Serve Act, which earlier this week passed through the House on a bipartisan vote, creates a service year option for high school graduates that will not only enable young people to give back to the state, but also lay the foundation for future success through job training and mentorship programs.
“Many amazing service leaders in Maryland got their start by working for Volunteer Maryland and I’m honored to be among the Volunteer Maryland alumni returning to serve today,” said Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism Director Samélia Okpodu-Pyuzza. “AmeriCorps Week offers an opportunity to recognize and reflect on the lasting effect service has on our communities.”
To learn more about the Governor’s Office of Service and Volunteerism, visit gosv.maryland.gov.
To learn more about Volunteer Maryland, visit volunteer.maryland.gov.