Celebrating AmeriCorps Week and a Shared History


Written by Kate Hagner, SCA’s AmeriCorps Program and Evaluation manager, in celebration of AmeriCorps week, March 9 -17th.

SCA and AmeriCorps share a common history: President Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). During the Great Depression the CCC provided opportunities for unemployed young men to engage in meaningful work, mostly on conservation projects in the nation’s public lands.

In the 1950’s SCA’s founder, Elizabeth Cushman, modeled the original student conservation corps on the CCC, based on the idea that the hard work of young people could solve some of the most critical challenges facing our nation’s public lands.

Over the next forty years SCA became part of a movement of national service in America that included the creation of the Peace Corps, VISTA, and Youth Conservation Corps, and eventually, in 1994, this national service program that we know as AmeriCorps. Both SCA and AmeriCorps can trace their roots back to the CCC and that original, brilliant idea that regular Americans can help our country do amazing things through service.

Every year around 75,000 Americans enroll in AmeriCorps, serving with non-profits and community organizations like SCA and doing all kinds of work – everything from supporting veterans’ families to responding to floods and forest fires to tutoring students to restoring parks and protecting watersheds.

At SCA more than 1,500 of our members enroll in AmeriCorps. What ties all of these members together – and what ties SCA’s AmeriCorps members to AmeriCorps members serving with other organizations – is a common commitment to strengthening communities and the environment through service.

One of the greatest benefits of AmeriCorps is the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, which has helped thousands of SCA alums pay for college or pay back student loans. It’s a partnership that helps SCA do more of what we do best: build the next generation of conservation leaders.

This year’s theme for AmeriCorps Week (March 9-17), AmeriCorps Works, reflects AmeriCorps’ triple bottom line return on investment — for the recipients of service, the people who serve, and the larger community and nation. AmeriCorps improves lives, strengthens communities, expands economic opportunity, bolsters civic and faith-based organizations, and engages millions of Americans in taking responsibility for solving problems in their communities.

SCA is proud to be a partner of the AmeriCorps national service network. Please join us in celebrating AmeriCorps week.

Learn more about SCA positions that are AmeriCorps eligible
Join our online AmeriCorps group on conservation-nation.org

Help support AmeriCorps week by sharing stories and photos with hashtags #ACweek, #AmeriCorpsWorks, and #MadeinAmeriCorps. You can also check in with AmeriCorps on Facebook for fresh badges and graphics every day this week.

Check out the National Service and AmeriCorps Alums blogs for more info, and while you’re at it, attend one of  this week’s special “Life After AmeriCorps” webinars.