Each year, AmeriCorps offers 85,000 opportunities for adults of all ages and backgrounds to serve through a network of partnerships with local and national nonprofit groups. The Youth Villages AmeriCorps program began in 2000 and has been recognized by Innovations in Civic Participation as one of the 52 most innovative AmeriCorps programs in the country. More than 200 AmeriCorps members have served at the Inner Harbour Campus of Youth Villages in Douglasville, Georgia, and many have become permanent staff members.
Outcome evaluation for the program shows that AmeriCorps members make a real difference in the lives of Youth Villages students. For students referred for tutoring during the 2011-2012 service year, 80% meeting criteria showed an increase in academic performance by one grade level and 86% achieved improved life skills in one or more deficit areas by 35%.
Also in 2011-2012, Youth Villages AmeriCorps service members:
- Dedicated 45,000 hours to tutoring, life skills, afterschool/summer programming, service learning, classroom assistance and community-strengthening activities.
- Completed 6,000 hours of service to support over 40 local nonprofits and organizations.
- Leveraged over 1,500 additional volunteers, including youth in care, corporate/civic groups, and individuals, to meet both campus and community needs.
- Offered 500 hours of afterschool programming focusing on the arts, outdoor activities, skill-building, and academics to over 300 students.
- Provided assistance to older youth seeking college or vocational school enrollment, job training opportunities, and employment as they transitioned from residential care into the community.
The Youth Villages AmeriCorps team also responds to victims of Georgia natural disasters by providing emergency relief and volunteer assistance as part of the First Saturday initiative. The program accepts member applications throughout the year, with service start dates in late September and late January. Please go to AmeriCorps.gov to apply, or contact Anthony Crass for more information.