2015 Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service

In 2015, the Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service set a Texas-sized record – the largest Mayor’s Day in the country.

In North Texas, Alums and currently serving members attended three events – one with the the Dallas County Commissioners Court, one with Mayor Mike Rawlings of Dallas, and one in Fort Worth. These events, in recognition for the dedication and transformative work of national service members across the North Texas region, were also well-attended by community members and other city officials.

AmeriCorps Alums and currently serving members with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings

AmeriCorps Alums and currently serving members with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings

Dallas County Commissioner's Court Event

Dallas County Commissioner’s Court Event

You can check out pictures from Mayor’s Days across the state by visiting the One Star Foundation’s website and checking out their newsletter.


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Life After AmeriCorps 2015


The 2015 Life After AmeriCorps Conference was a huge success, with our many existing AmeriCorps Alliance of North Texas members and some new faces, including City Year – Dallas and the Cornerstone Assistance Network VISTA members.

You can check out pictures from the day on our Facebook page.

Highlights from the event include a presentation by Peace Corps recruiter and alum April Conway, supported by our own Jennifer Knoeber from Jericho Road Dallas, Job Search Skills training by City Year staff, Education discussion by Philip Haigh and a graduate school application and survival session from local alums Stephanie Fenniri and Dhriti Stocks.

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At the Education Award session, attendees learned that by signing up for AmeriCorps Alums, they were eligible for a variety of benefits, including free tax preparation.

An exciting keynote session with AmeriCorps Alums of North Texas’ very own chapter leader Lisa Tatum talked about the many ways in which attendees could continue their lifetimes of service and the opportunities that a lifetime of service could provide. As the winner of the AmeriCorps Alums 20th Anniversary National Leadership Award, Lisa had the opportunity to visit the Washington, DC and attend the celebration of the 20th Anniversary at the White House. She shared her story and advice for future generations. You can check out some information about Lisa’s DC adventure in the Volunteer Center of North Texas newsletter.


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2015 MLK Day of Service was a resounding success!

The AmeriCorps Alliance keeps getting things done here in North Texas. With three great projects and a Sunday supper over MLK weekend, AmeriCorps Alums and currently serving members in North Texas really had a great day ON.

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The weekend started off bright and early on Saturday with a Fire Prevention and Safety Canvassing project in Irving. Collaborators AmeriCorps Alums of North Texas, Volunteer Center of North Texas, City of Irving, the American Red Cross DFW, and Hope Worldwide brought together 355 volunteers to pass out 4,328 door hangers, visit 4,142 households, and talk to people about fire prevention and safety. A total of 1,142 conversations helped make the citizens of Irving safer.


The AVANCE Dallas AmeriCorps members had an exciting time participating as part of the AmeriCorps Alums group. They were excited to be able to use their bilingual skills to talk to citizens who primarily spoke Spanish and provide essential fire safety information. They found that many of the families wanted even more information than they had on hand!

pie sunday supper

The following Sunday Supper was also a great success. Alums and current AmeriCorps members from four different generations, races, and faith backgrounds came together to discuss service and the possibilities for civic engagement in North Texas. In true Texas style, we did it over the amazing pie at Joe’s Coffee Shop in Irving. We talked about spreading more awareness about volunteer opportunities and making sure people had the knowledge that they too, can serve. We discussed civic engagement, keeping up with local issues, and how some communities, like Denton, TX with it’s Drink N Think events facilitate this better than others. Most importantly, we heard perspectives from our millenial and Baby Boomer participants and realized we’re not so different after all.

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On Monday, MLK Day, CitySquare, Reading Partners, CityYear, Project Transformation, Boys and Girls Club, and the Teach for America College Corps got together to serve at the Trinity River Horse Park, working together to clean up and beautify the area. With about 100 people, it was not hard to pull hundreds of pounds of trash and debris out of the river and the surrounding trails.

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Those who were not outside cleaning were inside painting at the CitySquare food pantry at CitySquare’s new Opportunity Center. This project involved painting the walls and creating reflective art to display.

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North Texas’ Second Annual Graduate School Fair!

IMG_8918[1]Last year, the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas – Little Rock joined with AmeriCorps Alums chapter all over the southern U.S. to recruit students for their graduate programs – programs that have some great benefits for AmeriCorps Alums!

This year, we did it again, and learned even more! Alex and Katherine introduced us to their programs and the unique ways in which AmeriCorps Alums benefit from opportunities like education award matching, scholarships, and domestic and international travel. They then joined two local AmeriCorps Alums attending graduate school on a panel to discuss the benefits and challenges of going to graduate school, and the exciting possibilities to which attending graduate school can lead.


We learned:

  • The websites naspaa.org, idealist.org, and apsia.org are great resources for anyone considering graduate school or employment in public service careers. – Katherine, the Bush School
  • AmeriCorps Alums bring a higher level of commitment, experience with team work and hard work, and stellar financial management capabilities to their graduate school experience. – Stephanie, AmeriCorps Alum at PCCI
  • Higher degrees are useful so you have the experience and the confidence to take on new challenges at work. – Jennifer, AmeriCorps Alum and Executive Director at Jericho Road Dallas
  • Alex from the Clinton School reminded us that we should not focus on taking the 30th step from now – just take the next step and keep being flexible!
  • And as a bonus, we learned how to properly eat a cupcake!
Alex shows us how cupcakes should really be eaten.

Alex shows us how cupcakes should really be eaten.



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Celebrating 20 Years of AmeriCorps in 3 Cities

AmeriCorps Alums of North Texas was busy on September 12, 2014 – celebrating the AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary in 3 different cities.

The North Texas event engaged 173 currently serving members and alumni in a morning of disaster preparedness activities and a service project and joined the national swearing in ceremony to share the moment with alumni across the country. Check out some photos below by Renee Fernandes and visit our facebook page to check out more pictures.

Lisa Tatum, our very own winner of the AmeriCorps Alums 20th Anniversary National Leadership Award, chapter leader extraordinaire, and the only winner in Texas of this recognition had a chance to visit the white house and take part in the national swearing in. You can check out some of her favorite pictures below and click here to watch the national swearing in ceremony.

Accepting the 20th Anniversary National Leadership Award on Lisa’s behalf, Dhriti Stocks visited Austin, TX to take part in celebrating the One Star Foundation’s 10th Anniversary and AmeriCorps’ 20th at a celebration of more than 900 individuals. You can click here to see video of the event and visit One Star’s Flickr to see pictures.

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North Texas Alum Recognized Nationally

AmeriCorps Alums of North Texas has been busy over the past several weeks preparing for the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps! In North Texas, a collaborative event hosted by the North Texas AmeriCorps Alliance at the American Red Cross this Friday morning will be one of the many events nationwide that commemorate the 20th anniversary with a national swearing in ceremony. Sworn in by Presidents Obama, Clinton, and Bush, Sr., these AmeriCorps members will be first class for the next 20 years, and set the stage in North Texas, and across the country, for a lifetime of service. In addition to the North Texas event, an AmeriCorps Alums of North Texas representative will be speaking at the 20th Anniversary event in Austin hosted by the OneStar Foundation.

Lisa TatumMost importantly, one of our AmeriCorps Alums chapter leaders has been recognized for a prestigious national award, the 20th Anniversary Leadership Award. One of 20 honorees across the country and the only honoree in Texas, Lisa Tatum is receiving this award for her dedication to a lifetime of service, her achievements in her field of disaster preparedness and response, and her commitment to ensuring that other alumni can continue to be engaged with AmeriCorps and in service in North Texas. We are very proud of all of the recognition Lisa has been receiving this week. You can check out some articles below.

  • AmeriCorps Alums announces the 20th anniversary honorees
  • Shirley Sagawa and the Clinton Foundation mention Lisa as an example of commitment to a lifetime of service

We hope you will join the event here in North Texas and renew your commitment with us. If you are unable, view the livestream here and say the pledge with AmeriCorps members and alums across the country. Join us, and let’s keep getting things done!


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2nd Annual Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service


National Service Recognition in Dallas City Council Chamber

“Mayors are leaders who get things done,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). As solution-focused elected officials, mayors have a unique role in our country, and their focus on engaging citizens to meet local needs matches CNCS’s mission to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement. As CNCS prioritizes expanding economic opportunity to create sustainable and resilient communities, 1760 mayors in the United States, representing 100 million citizens lent their voices and their support to spotlight the key role national service plays in solving local problems and challenges.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price participated in the 2nd Annual Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service to highlight the impact of citizen service, show support for nonprofit and national service groups, and inspire more residents to serve in their communities. And that’s not all–these two cities are expanding their national service footprint even further. Cornerstone in Fort Worth will receive funding for an RSVP program to bring 600 new senior volunteers to North Texas. The Mayor’s Grow South initiative in Dallas will have 7 new VISTA members to support the growth. “As Mayors, we realize how important volunteers are,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price as she joined with 22 other mayors in Tarrant County to recognize national service volunteers.

AmeriCorps Alums of North Texas is excited that national service is receiving this kind of recognition. Together with local North Texas AmeriCorps Alliance members, we celebrated AmeriCorps and national service with these mayors and staff from CNCS who were able to join us. So many programs in North Texas–from nonprofits to community organization–would not exist without national service. What’s more, service is making dreams come true. For one young girl, applying to become an AmeriCorps member was her way of achieving her dreams. “The girl who wanted to save the world…I’m going to make her proud,” she said in her application. We are grateful for the overwhelming support of North Texas mayors in helping people achieve their dreams for a brighter future and supporting national service in giving people an opportunity to save the world. As Tarrant Area Community of Churches’ Melinda Veatch summarizes nicely, “the gifts of one person have magnified the gifts of many people in the community.” Thank you, North Texas mayors for all your support of national service and all you do to make our communities and neighbors stronger, brighter, and more resilient.


Receiving the proclamation from Betsy Price, mayor of Ft. Worth


Left: Katy Dooley- Texas Program Specialist, Corporation for National and Community Service, Hector Garcia- Mayor of Watauga, Betsy Price- Mayor of Ft. Worth, Richard Ward- Mayor of Hurst, Jim Griffin- Mayor of Bedford all recognizing National Service at Ft. Worth Event


The National Service Reception hosted at Cornerstone Assistance Network in Ft. Worth


Attending the Ft. Worth City Council meeting to get the official proclamation


Proclamation from the City of Ft. Worth


Volunteer Center of North Texas AmeriCorps members- showing off their “A” next to the Ft. Worth proclamation.


Trinity Habitat for Humanity members pose with Katy Dooley of CNCS at Ft. Worth event


Ft. Worth’s Sleeping Panther


Downtown Dallas from City Hall



Texas HIPPY members








Dallas City Council Flag Room


City of Dallas proclamation


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