Funding will significantly expand The Corps Network’s AmeriCorps Opportunity Youth Service Initiative (OYSI) and continue The Corps Network’s AmeriCorps Education Award Program (EAP).
Conservation Corps participating in OYSI and EAP engage young adults in conservation service projects, education, career development.
Washington, DC (June 15, 2022) – The Corps Network – the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps – is pleased to announce the receipt of over $12.8 million in AmeriCorps grants to continue The Corps Network’s AmeriCorps Education Award Program (EAP) and Opportunity Youth Service Initiative (OYSI). Over the coming program year, member organizations of The Corps Network participating in EAP and OYSI will engage more than 3,750 AmeriCorps members in conservation-focused service projects, education, and career development. This grant cycle is The Corps Network’s twenty-second year as an AmeriCorps National Direct grantee and marks a significant expansion of the OYSI program.
The official announcement of these grant awards was made by AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith at The Corps Network’s 7th annual Great Outdoors Day of Service on June 9 in Washington, DC.
“For nearly three decades, AmeriCorps has invested in the work of Conservation Corps that play a key role in tackling the climate crisis,” said Michael D. Smith, CEO of AmeriCorps. “I am thrilled to announce two new AmeriCorps grants to The Corps Network, which will empower thousands of AmeriCorps members to improve public lands and waters, promote energy efficiency, and address climate change in more than 40 states across the country and DC.”
“The Corps Network strives every day to strengthen America through service and conservation. Our AmeriCorps EAP and OYSI programs are central to our mission. We are grateful for the opportunity to engage thousands of young people across the country in helping steward our natural resources and build our climate resilience,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network. “We are particularly excited about the ability to expand the Opportunity Youth Service Initiative, through which Corps will help advance environmental justice and expand equitable access to career pathways in conservation. With the support of AmeriCorps, our member organizations demonstrate the power of national service to tackle big challenges and build stronger communities.”
Twenty-eight member organizations of The Corps Network are participating in EAP across 52 different operating sites. Twenty-one member organizations of The Corps Network are participating in OYSI across 20 different operating sites. In all, The Corps Network will sub-grant EAP and OYSI funds to programs engaging AmeriCorps members throughout nearly every state and the District of Columbia. The Corps Network’s two AmeriCorps National Direct grant awards are among over $580 million awarded to more than 340 nonprofit, faith, and community-based organizations across the U.S. to support more than 42,000 national service members during the upcoming program year, which runs from October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023.
During the upcoming grant cycle, OYSI will engage more than 1,100 AmeriCorps members, an increase of more than 20 percent over enrollment goals for the 2021 – 2022 program year.
Education Award Program (EAP)
The Corps Network’s EAP is one of the largest AmeriCorps Education Award Programs in the country. Since its creation in 2000, EAP has supported more than 57,000 AmeriCorps positions.
During the 2022 – 2023 program year, EAP will engage 2,591 youth, young adults and veterans across 43 states and the District of Columbia. EAP AmeriCorps members will serve out of 28 member organizations of The Corps Network. EAP AmeriCorps members will have the opportunity to collectively earn more than $7 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards.
EAP concentrates on the AmeriCorps focus areas of Environmental Stewardship and Disaster Services. During the 2022 – 2023 program year – which is the second year in a three-year grant cycle for EAP – the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for improving 21,330 acres of public land and 2,062 miles of trails and waterways. They will also engage volunteers in conservation-focused projects.
To support their AmeriCorps members, programs participating in The Corps Network’s EAP will secure approximately $61 million from federal, state, and local resource management agencies, including the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, state departments of natural resources, and city departments of parks and recreation, as well as a variety of public and private philanthropies.
Opportunity Youth Service Initiative (OYSI)
Since its creation in 2013, the Opportunity Youth Service Initiative (OYIS) has supported more than 5,300 AmeriCorps members. During the 2022 – 2023 program year, OYSI will enroll 1,167 AmeriCorps members in 21 Corps, operating across 20 states.
OYSI engages youth and young adults in environmental stewardship projects that improve access to public lands and promote energy efficiency in low-income housing. At least 60 percent of OYSI participants are “opportunity youth”: young adults between ages 16 and 24 who, prior to the start of their service, have been unemployed and out of school.
OYSI concentrates on the AmeriCorps focus areas of Environmental Stewardship and Economic Opportunity. At the end of the program year – the first in a three-year grant cycle for OYSI – the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for improving 6,734 acres of public lands; treating 632 miles of trails and waterways; and weatherizing/retrofitting 90 low-income housing units.
During the program, OYSI AmeriCorps members will obtain work readiness and technical skills. Additionally, 80 percent will obtain industry-recognized credentials, and 50 percent of members entering the program without a GED or high school diploma will attain one. OYSI AmeriCorps members will also have the opportunity to collectively earn approximately $3.7 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards.
AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteering, brings people together to tackle the country’s most pressing challenges. AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serve with organizations dedicated to the improvement of communities. AmeriCorps helps make service to others a cornerstone of our national culture. Learn more at AmeriCorps.gov.
The Corps Network
Established in 1985, The Corps Network is the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps. The Corps Network’s membership of more than 140 Corps across the United States annually provides more than 20,000 young adults and veterans the opportunity to develop job skills while serving our country through projects on public lands and in communities. The Corps Network supports Corps through advocacy, providing access to funding and project opportunities, and offering expert guidance in Corps operations and programming. Learn more about The Corps Network at www.corpsnetwork.org.
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