Statement from AmeriCorps Acting CEO on the Passing of General Colin L. Powell
AmeriCorps and our partners across the nation join in mourning the passing of Gen. Colin Powell and celebrating his extraordinary life of public service. The son of immigrants who rose to the apex of power, Colin Powell embodied the American Dream and devoted his life to extending that dream to all Americans, especially our children and youth.
A patriot, mentor, soldier, and statesman, General Powell was also a beloved husband and father who lived a life of honor, integrity, and service who always put his country first. He was a trailblazer, becoming the first African American to serve as National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State. General Powell was an outspoken champion for AmeriCorps and the role of national service and volunteering in solving problems and strengthening communities.
Twenty-five years ago, our agency joined with the Points of Light Foundation and United Way of America to organize a summit of all the living presidents and leaders from all sectors of society to mobilize civic and government forces to ensure America’s young people had the resources they needed to succeed in life. In the years that followed, AmeriCorps – under the extraordinary leadership of former CEO Harris Wofford - worked closely with General Powell and the America’s Promise Alliance he chaired to expand national service opportunities, recruit AmeriCorps members and mentors, expand bipartisan support for national service, and help young people get on a lifelong path of civic engagement by learning the joy of giving back.
“Never lose faith in America. Its faults are yours to fix, not to curse,” Colin Powell once said. He never ceased striving to make our country worthy of our highest ideals and reminded us that we all have a role to play in making America what it ought to be.
The national service community will deeply miss Colin Powell. We are honored to continue his work to lift up those who are in need, to make sure no child is left behind, and to revitalize the ethic of service that is essential to our success as a nation. Our deepest condolences go to the entire Powell family, and all the people he touched through his example. May his life serve as a beacon of inspiration to us all to serve a cause larger than ourselves.