AmeriCorps awarded AmeriCorps State and National and Seniors programs during Connecticut Service Symposium

WASHINGTON, DC— AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, announced more than $3.8 million in federal funding to support AmeriCorps State and National and Seniors programs in Connecticut. The grant award will support the work of approximately 50 AmeriCorps members and 30 AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers who will engage in service across the state.

On May 29, AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith spoke at the Connecticut Service Symposium and announced the funding to support Serve Connecticut, Health 360’s Healthy Mind Alliance and New Opportunities, Inc.’s Foster Grandparent program. During this announcement, CEO Smith was joined by national service champions Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representative John Larson (CT-1), along with Serve Connecticut Commission staff and AmeriCorps alumni who served with Health 360 and New Opportunities.

"This year’s AmeriCorps State and National and AmeriCorps Seniors grants demonstrate our steadfast commitment to helping communities tackle the most urgent challenges head-on,” said Michael D. Smith, CEO, AmeriCorps. “These funds will empower AmeriCorps members and volunteers to make significant strides in supporting youths' mental health, well-being and education, demonstrating the power of national service to bring about positive change. I am thrilled to see the impact our members and volunteers will have across the state, and I am grateful for the hard work and dedication of all involved. Together, we are building a brighter future in Connecticut.”

“This $3.8 million investment from AmeriCorps will tackle two imperative issues plaguing our communities – the mental health crisis and the tens of thousands of disconnected youth. AmeriCorps Health360 program will provide critical support for those with mental illness and the New Opportunities program will provide meaningful and much needed mentorship to young people. The impacts of these investments will be felt across Connecticut, touching the lives of countless individuals,” said US Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

“Having a positive role model who cares can make a huge difference in a child’s life. This $270,000 in grant funding from AmeriCorps Seniors will help connect low-income kids and kids with disabilities in Torrington to meaningful mentorships with foster grandparents who provide tutoring, mentoring, and support. I’m grateful to AmeriCorps and its talented volunteers who have a long history of strengthening our communities with their service, and I’ll continue supporting these efforts that make Connecticut a better place to live, learn, and grow,” said US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT).

“AmeriCorps is a pivotal force in fostering community resilience and empowerment, and I have fought throughout my career to ensure they have robust funding to meet their mission,” said US Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-03). “The grant funding announced today will strengthen Connecticut's service opportunities while making our communities stronger and healthier. I am grateful to AmeriCorps for their long-standing cooperation and unwavering dedication to tackling our nation’s most pressing challenges.”

“On what would have been President Kennedy’s 107th birthday, this celebration of national service and nearly $4 million in funding coming to Connecticut honors his vision to engage young Americans in serving their nation through thoughtful service,” said US Representative John B. Larson (CT-01). “The funding will help support the AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparent Program here in Connecticut, enriching relationships between our seniors and students while bolstering the growth of the state’s AmeriCorps program. I will continue to work to support AmeriCorps and expand service opportunities for those who wish to serve our nation.”

“This grant funding from AmeriCorps will allow Health360 and New Opportunities to continue working to better communities across Western Connecticut,” said US Representative Jahana Hayes (CT-05). “Together, these investments will support and tutor students in Torrington and provide suicide prevention trainings to individuals in the Waterbury area. I am delighted to see over $3.8 million heading to Connecticut to support these and other impactful programs."

“Health360 is thrilled to continue our partnership with AmeriCorps addressing critical mental health needs in communities across the nation,” said Tricia Harrity, Executive Director, Health360. “Established in 2013, Healthy Minds Alliance was the first AmeriCorps program to exclusively focus on addressing unmet mental health needs nationwide. Through strong partnerships with universities, secondary school systems, mental health care organizations, social service agencies, and others, Healthy Minds Alliance increases capacity to meet pressing community mental health needs while simultaneously building a robust mental health workforce pipeline. Many of our members go on to employment and/or postsecondary education in the mental health field, helping to address our nation’s critical shortage of mental health professionals.”

“New Opportunities, Inc. is extremely proud to be able to expand its legacy of national service.   AmeriCorps members that have served through the agency have been an invaluable resource to the community,” said William Rybczyk, CEO, New Opportunities, Inc. “The expansion of the Foster Grandparent program will allow for increased engagement in the Northwest region of the state and will strengthen inter-generational relationships. The agency looks forward to continuing its decades long partnership with AmeriCorps. The agency is also thankful for the support of the Congressional delegation and their recognition of this impactful programming.”

“The Connecticut Service Summit represented an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the impact of national service in our state – on communities, on AmeriCorps members and volunteers, and on the civic well-being of our state,” said Kate Scheuritzel, Director of Programs, Serve Connecticut. “We look forward to continuing this important conversation with other service champions and participants in our state.”

After successfully completing a full-service term, members receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award equal to the Pell Grant toward tuition at eligible schools and at specific GI Bill-approved educational programs for veterans or student loan repayment. Nearly $370,000 will be distributed in education awards to the state of Connecticut.

AmeriCorps State and National is awarding nearly $3.6 million in funding to support Health 360 and Serve Connecticut, and AmeriCorps Seniors is awarding $270,000 to support Foster Grandparents serving with New Opportunities, Inc. View a complete list of awards for AmeriCorps State and National and AmeriCorps Seniors.

Three decades ago, more than 20,000 Americans raised their right hands and pledged to get things done for America. These members helped more than 1,000 communities nationwide during their first year of service. Since then, more than 1.3 million Americans and hundreds of thousands more AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers of all backgrounds have followed in their footsteps, providing billions of hours of results-driven service across the nation.

Last year, more than 2,400 Americans of all ages and backgrounds united to meet local needs, strengthen communities, and expand opportunity through national service at more than 200 locations across Connecticut. In 2023, AmeriCorps invested more than $9.6 million in federal funding across all AmeriCorps programs in Connecticut to support cost-effective community solutions, working hand in hand with local partners to empower individuals to help communities tackle their toughest challenges.