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As an Iraq War veteran, I am honored to work at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). We are home to more than 70,000 AmeriCorps members, whom we are celebrating as part of AmeriCorps Week.

I work with these national service leaders and our other programs to find ways to support wounded warriors, veterans, and their families.

Consider these numbers: In the next five years, 1.5 million service members, guardsmen, and reservists will be returning home to their families and communities to take off their uniform for the last time.

A 2013 report from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families shows that our heroes face challenges. Today, if you are you are male veteran under 24, you have a one-third chance of being unemployed. According to the 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, if you are a female Veteran, your risk of homelessness has increased each of the past three years. The unemployment rate for military spouses is 25 percent. Last week, Student Veterans of America issued a report that tells us that if you are a student veteran, there's a 40-percent chance you won't get your college degree.

These challenges are serious, but they are not insurmountable. That's why the national service community, including AmeriCorps, is engaging our veteran and military families.

Read more: AmeriCorps Works for Veterans and Military Families

The 2012-2013 New Mexico State Profile is live and available on the State Profiles page of The Corporation for National and Community Service website. In addition to the current program year, you can also access the previous eight years of New Mexico State Profiles.

Also posted are the Service Location Reports, these reports show the locations of all AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members in New Mexico, demonstrating the extraordinary reach of national service in communities across the country.

Given the large number of CNCS grantees, subgrantees, and operating sites, and the constantly-changing nature of the data, State Profiles show available information at a snapshot in time. They are a reminder of the vital support that CNCS provides to thousands of organizations and communities to help them tackle critical local challenges through results-driven service.

moveWe are so excited that many of you will be joining Mayor Berry on Tuesday, April 9th to help recognize, honor, and give thanks to our City's Volunteers! Reminder to get your Volunteer of The Year nominations in! (You can submit online, the link is below). Also, we hope many of you will kick off the celebration by participating in the Pizza 9 fundraiser TOMORROW, THURSDAY, March 14, 2013! 50% of all participating sales from the Pizza 9 downtown location will be donated towards this event. Plan an office lunch, a date, or a family dinner with Pizza 9 tomorrow! (Please print and take the coupon/flyer with you when you pick up your order).

Download PDF of the Pizza 9 Flyer

Read more: M.O.V.E. Announcements for the week MOVE (Mayor’s Office of Volunteerism & Engagement)

EcoServants spent part of AmeriCorps Week in Albuquerque for an American Red Cross training on Shelter Fundamentals.

The exercise in Shelter Fundamentals was held by the American Red Cross in New Mexico in conjunction with the AmeriCorps National Preparedness and Response Corps. The evaluators were all Red Cross volunteers from Albuquerque and Farmington. Other participants in the training represented RWTC teams from Sandia National Labs and NM Gas Company from Albuquerque. There are a few things to consider when operating a shelter, and for things to run smoothly responsibilities are broken into three core categories: registration, dormitory, and material support. All parts of the shelter work together cohesively, and volunteers frequently change what area they work in on a shift-to-shift basis, meaning all members must be well versed in every aspect of shelter operations. Covering procedures is important, and knowing what goes into opening a shelter will make us better prepared to assist in any disasters to come.

Read more: AmeriCorps Week - EcoServants @ the American Red Corss

As you are likely aware, Congress failed to reach a deal on balanced deficit reduction to avoid the across-the-board budget reductions commonly known as “sequestration.”  Thus, the President was required by law to issue a sequestration order.  This order cancels approximately $85 billion in budgetary resources across the Federal government for the remainder of the Federal fiscal year. 

Given your relationship with the Corporation for National and Community Service, we wanted to provide you with information about how these unfortunate budget cuts will affect our programs. 

CNCS’s senior leadership team has engaged in extensive planning efforts to mitigate the effect of these cuts. In planning how to implement a possible sequestration, our guiding principle has been to protect the ability to perform our core mission on behalf of the American people.   While these types of cuts are painful, we have carefully considered how to use the various tools at our disposal to reduce costs and mitigate to the extent possible the disruption to our operations, to our programs, and to all of you.  

Impact on AmeriCorps State and National

As a result of sequestration, an estimated 3,600 individuals would be denied the opportunity to serve as AmeriCorps members through the State and National program and earn money for college through national service.  As a result, AmeriCorps would provide up to 3.7 million fewer hours of critical service to community organizations that help Americans devastated by national disasters, improve academic performance of disadvantaged students, provide care for vulnerable populations and help improve the quality of life for our Nation’s veterans.  Additionally, Governors and States would receive less funding for community supports.

Read more: Important Information About Sequestration

Rio Grande Educational Collaborative (RGEC) will be working at two APS elementary schools, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon:

  1. Valle Vista ES (Morning): With the support of the principal, we will be assisting students who will be attending special classes to help prepare them for the State Based Assessments. This will include one on one tutoring, web based programming, test taking strategies, and support for the teachers. Our AmeriCorps members will supplement the work of the school teachers, counselors, and administrators on this day.

  2. Kit Carson ES (Afternoon): Our AmeriCorps members will be supporting a beautification day at Kit Carson, this will include planting trees, shrubs, and flowers. In addition, Juntos Por Los Ninos (together for the children) program, a program specific to Kit Carson, will follow up with a special science unit on eco systems and plant life and development right after the beautification process.

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