NCLR AmeriCorps Expands Its Reach

Americorps1The 11 NCLR LENS AltaMed AmeriCorps members: Back row – Lluvia Macias, Jocelyn Martinez, Jessica Ponce, Francesca Corley, Roxana Barba; Middle Row – Allen Marshall, America Torres, Ernesto Vicencio, Jennifer Ng, Helen Chag; Front – Rafael Marron

NCLR has been operating and overseeing AmeriCorps programs since 1995. As a longstanding grantee of the Corporation for National and Community Services (CNCS), NCLR has promoted national service across the country and to a demographic that may not be familiar with service options.

Americorps2Rafael Marron calling out volunteers

Last month NCLR AmeriCorps members throughout the nation participated in the Martin Luther King Day of Service. This is NCLR’s 21st year of promoting service activities around the holiday by making it a day on, not off.

AltaMed NCLR Lens AmeriCorps members joined efforts with other AmeriCorps cohorts including AltaMed and Community Clinic of the County of Los Angeles Community HealthCorps members for their MLK Day of Service at Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles. The AmeriCorps member activities included college readiness, a health fair, and beautification of the Roosevelt High School campus. There were more than 100 volunteers in attendance.

Americorps3NCLR LENS Group Booth

AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community- and faith-based groups across the country. In exchange for that service AmeriCorps members can earn an education award that can be used to cover past, present, and future education expenses. Rogelio Quintanar and Veronica Alarcon oversee the implementation of the program. Both NCLR staff members have more than 20 years of experience managing and promoting AmeriCorps and national service. Quintanar has been with NCLR and the AmeriCorps program since 2002 and Alarcon joined the program in 2006.

Americorps4NCLR LENS Group Booth

In managing the program both staff members provide financial oversight and ensure program policy and procedures are compliant with CNCS regulations and provisions. Additionally, they are responsible for promoting the program on a national scale and developing partnerships that will advance the mission of the program.

As the NCLR-AmeriCorps relationship continues to grow, more youth leaders are participating in community service activities. In a few weeks, NCLR AmeriCorps members will be back in their communities participating in more services projects as AmeriCorps Week approaches, which is March 5–12, 2016.

NCLR AmeriCorps Calendar for 2016:

  • March 5–12, 2016 | AmeriCorps Week
  • April 12–18, 2016 | National Volunteer Week
  • April 2016 (date TBD) | National and Global Youth Service Day
  • May 2, 2015 | Join Hands Day
  • September 11, 2016 | 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance

Put South Florida’s Families Before Politics

By Natalie Carlier, Florida Regional Coordinator, NCLR

centro campesino12

It’s been over five months since sequestration—the automatic budget cuts to federal programs which began in March—went into full effect, causing devastation thoughout Florida.  On Tuesday, August 13, NCLR and Centro Campesino Farmworker Center Inc.—an NCLR Affiliate in Florida City dedicated to improving the quality of life and self-sufficiency of migrant and seasonal farmworkers, their children, and other low-income families—met with Senator Bill Nelson’s Regional Director, Pedro Villa, to shed light on the impact that federal budget cuts have had on Florida’s South Dade community.

During the legislative visit, Centro Campesino’s Executive Director, Diane Cantor, and fellow staff members discussed how the federal budget cuts have impacted the housing and education programs they offer Florida City residents, a largely Latino population.  As a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-certified housing counseling agency, Centro Campesino helps community members become mortgage-ready by offering guidance for first-time homebuyers and counsels homeowners through foreclosure.  Additionally, Centro Campesino houses a 21st Century Community Learning Center led by AmeriCorps members which provides day care and education to children in the area.  Hardworking individuals and families in Florida are already struggling in this economy to avoid foreclosure, manage their household budgets, and raise their children.  The additional stress that these cuts have placed on our families and their children is unnecessary, unwarranted, and unwelcome.  Continue reading