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De Blasio Administration Unveils Plan to Double the Number of Service Year Members in NYC by 2020

April 4, 2017

Event on fifth-annual Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service celebrates breadth, diversity, and impact of national service in NYC

NEW YORK––Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery joined NYC Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin, the NYC National Service Leadership Council, and over 150 Service Year members, alumni, program staff, and champions to celebrate the fifth-annual Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service and announce the NYC National Service Growth (+ Sustainability) Plan, which aims to double the number of Service Year members in New York City from 4,000 to 8,000 by 2020.

“Today is about recognizing the incredible effect of national service on our City and the thousands of Service Year members that dedicate their time, talent, and energy to further strengthen our communities,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We know national service is a vital resource for New York City, so we are committed to expanding this program to continue working towards our vision for a strong, sustainable, resilient, and equitable City.”

“When the City invests in service programs, that investment boosts the vitality of New York City – through skill development for service members and an increased workforce capacity for local employers. But service offers something more enduring than that: It binds us together, no matter our differences, so that a more equitable, higher quality of life can be shared by all of us,” said Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. “I stand today in solidarity with municipal leaders across the country to honor the legacy of service in our cities and am proud that we will touch more lives with this plan to double service members in New York City in the next three years.”

“Service Year members in New York City help address some of our most critical needs and today we give special thanks to these individuals for their dedication to service and our City,” said NYC Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin. “We are committed to doubling the number of Service Year members in NYC by 2020 because national service encourages individual growth and civic leadership, while delivering measurable change on key City priorities, like education, economic opportunity, and the environment. I want to also recognize the NYC National Service Leadership Council for collaborating to build and implement this plan for our City.” 

NYC Service, a division of the Mayor’s Office, hosted the event to celebrate the breadth, diversity, and impact of national service in our City, as well as unveil the NYC National Service Growth (+ Sustainability) Plan, a collaboration of the NYC National Service Leadership Council, which aims to double the number of Service Year members in NYC by 2020, positively impacting City needs, raising the quality of life for all New Yorkers, and serving as a high performing national service model for the nation.

Today, New York City officials are joining over 4,000 county officials and mayors across the country in a nationwide bipartisan initiative to highlight the impact of national service in tackling local problems.

The Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service is a nationwide bipartisan effort to recognize the positive impact of national service in counties, to thank those who serve, and to encourage citizens to give back to their communities. The day is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, and Cities of Service. Given the many social needs facing communities, county and city leaders are increasingly turning to national service as a cost-effective strategy to meet local needs.

“Growing National Service will open up pathways to economic opportunities for thousands of young people, while preparing the next generation of leaders to build more equitable, prosperous, and resilient communities,” said Lisbeth Shepherd, Founder and Executive Director of Green City Force. “As an AmeriCorps program focused on public housing, we see firsthand the transformational effect service can have on the young residents who take up its call as part of our Corps, and the profound impact they have on the communities served. We commend NYC Service for driving a collective vision and effort to expand service opportunities across New York City.”

“Habitat for Humanity New York City is able to reach more families and communities with the dedication and support provided by our national service members,” said Karen Haycox, CEO of Habitat NYC. “Through the opportunities provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, our organization continues to benefit from working with many of the best and brightest our country has to offer. We are proud to join our peers and colleagues in honoring their contributions to our city.”

"Those who participate in national service to NYC communities learn many things,” said Naila Bolus, CEO and President of Jumpstart. “Teamwork. Leadership. Responsibility. Humbleness. Friendship. Empathy. They learn that building a secure future for their communities, as well as themselves, takes all of the aforementioned - plus hope. It's in that hope, a sincere hope for a better world, that national service members move on to create a strong, diverse, socially-conscious workforce that is inspired, innovative and highly-adaptive. The skills they develop serving their communities in turn serves them well, their families well, their future employers well. National service, like the individuals who serve, is critical.”

“I started the first national service coaching program in the nation nearly 10 years ago with the support of AmeriCorps to give young adults the chance to coach underserved youth and help them achieve their potential,” said Paul Caccamo, Founder & CEO of Up2Us Sports. “Over the years we have placed over 2,000 coaches nationwide, who have served as mentors to over 300,000 youth. We currently have 36 coaches serving in NYC across 18 different youth-serving organizations, impacting the lives of almost 5,000 kids. We are proud to be a part of this incredible national service movement here in NYC.”

“The national service opportunities made possible through the Corporation for National and Community Service has given me the skills and tools to make a real impact in my city,” said Charisse Fontnel, AmeriCorps member currently serving her second year at Habitat for Humanity New York City. “Through my work at Habitat NYC I help provide critical guidance to applicants as they navigate through the financial requirements of homeownership and get on a personalized track to improve their credit and financial standing. Helping low-income New Yorkers not only achieve their dreams of affordable homeownership, but also develop skills for financial planning that will serve them for the long term, has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and only made possible through the opportunities provided through CNCS.”

“Showing up every day as an AmeriCorps coach through Up2Us Sports means not just teaching a sport or a skill, but showing up to coach for outcomes,” said Chloe Wheeler, Up2Us Sports Coach at America SCORES New York . “We are trained to teach important life skills, such as self-awareness and social confidence, through sport. By intentionally planning practice with a focus on developing these life skills and taking advantage of candid, organic moments, we provide a safe space for NYC children of all backgrounds to build character and confidence, make mistakes and learn from them, and learn the larger significance of what it means to be part of a team and a larger community.”

About NYC Service
NYC Service, a division of the Office of the Mayor, promotes volunteerism, engages New Yorkers in service, and mobilizes the power of volunteers and national service members to impact New York City's greatest needs. Our vision is to inspire and empower all New Yorkers to volunteer and serve New York City and each other. To learn more about NYC Service, visit

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