North Carolina faces enormous challenges—challenges that can be addressed by a more engaged citizenry with a heightened sense of collective responsibility. In partnership with Service Year Alliance, a national bipartisan organization, IEI is launching the Service Year NC Initiative to make a year of full-time service—a service year—a common opportunity and cultural expectation for young North Carolinians from all backgrounds.
We believe the force of service years at scale can prepare leaders, engage citizens, solve problems, and unite North Carolinians.
What is a Service Year?
A service year is a paid, full-time position for Americans looking to improve people’s lives and make a lasting impact in communities across the country. Examples of existing service year programs include AmeriCorps, Teach For America, Peace Corps, and many others.
Each year, 65,000 young people engage in service years. The goal of Service Year Alliance is for 100,000 young people to serve annually by 2019, growing to one million within a generation.
What’s North Carolina’s share of the task?
Our state is responsible for 2,800 of those 100,000 service jobs, proportional to the Electoral College. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, we’re already halfway there, with more than 1,400 AmeriCorps members serving in North Carolina today.
Service Year NC Communities
Service Year NC is committed to supporting local communities in their efforts to build and/or scale service year positions. IEI is excited to announce our inaugural cohort of Service Year NC communities: Greenville, Rockingham County, Wilkes County, and Wilson. Chosen through a competitive statewide application process, these communities will participate in IEI’s new Service Year NC initiative.
As part of the initiative, the four Service Year NC communities will participate in a Service Year Accelerator, which is comprised of three in-person trainings taking place from June – September 2017. The Accelerator will connect communities with resources to fund service positions, identify specific issues that service year members can address, and develop a draft growth plan to scale service year programs locally.
In addition to this specialized training, communities will be able to take advantage of certain resources including:
- Guidance and support from the Service Year NC team;
- Recognition and statewide visibility through IEI and other partners; and
- Access to national best practices and case studies.
Each Service Year NC community has built a leadership team of cross-sector stakeholders to lead the initiative locally. This team will document and share best practices and lessons learned so that other communities may learn from their efforts.
As a new initiative, we look forward to working with and learning from each of the Service Year NC communities.