PHILADELPHIA – In recognition of his strong support for national service, today Mayor Jim Kenney received the Local Leadership Award from Voices for National Service, a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions, who work to ensure Americans of all ages can serve and volunteer in their community.
The award was given to Mayor Kenney in recognition of his leadership and innovation in leveraging national service to meet local needs. It was presented to him today at the 16th Annual Friends of National Service Awards in Washington, DC.
Mayor Kenney joined a bipartisan group of distinguished leaders in government, business, and journalism from across the nation being honored, including Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Jack Reed (D-RI), Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Joe Courtney (D-CT), New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and First Lady Valerie Sununu, and Mark Donovan, President of the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Mayor Kenney has made it a priority for all Philadelphians to get involved in their community,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President, Voices for National Service. “Through his Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service, Mayor Kenney has created the Mayor’s Volunteer Corps, an initiative that matches volunteers to high-quality, impactful and rewarding service opportunities that are aligned with local priorities.”
“I am honored to have been selected to receive this award from Voices for National Service,” said Mayor Kenney. “Every day, in cities across the country, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members tackle tough problems – helping kids graduate, fighting poverty, and making our neighborhoods safer. I encourage mayors to partner with national service and use this force for good to help meet the needs in their cities.”
The City’s Serve Philadelphia VISTA program places AmeriCorps members in City departments full-time, for one year, to help address the causes and impacts of poverty. Serve Philadelphia recently welcomed six new VISTAs to work on the Resilience Project, the City’s emergency response to the opioid crisis.
The City’s Foster Grandparent program is placing low-income seniors in Philadelphia classrooms to mentor underserved youth. Each year, 150 volunteer Foster Grandparents provide upwards of 100,000 hours of tutoring, mentoring, and positive social interaction to Philadelphia students.
Mayor Kenney is an advocate for national service in his role as a member of the Cities of Service Mayors Council, which is comprised of mayors who share a commitment to increasing citizen engagement and service opportunities in their communities. The members of the Mayors Council showcase how city leaders can effectively engage with their citizens to solve public problems.
The full list of 2019 award winners is available here.
In communities across the country, national service members of all ages and backgrounds provide critical services to fulfill unmet needs. National service members tutor and mentor struggling students, help fight the opioid epidemic, provide job training and other services to returning veterans, preserve the nation’s parks and public lands, offer disaster relief and recovery assistance after natural disasters and support independent living for seniors and Americans with disabilities. For every federal dollar invested in national service, there are returns to society of nearly four dollars in terms of higher earnings, increased output and other community-wide benefits.
Congress created the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that oversees national service programs such as AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, to be a public-private partnership that invests limited federal dollars to leverage substantial private investment to improve lives and communities. In 2015, CNCS and its grantees generated $1.26 billion in outside resources from private businesses, foundations, and other sources, an amount exceeding the federal appropriation. Furthermore, a recent survey of AmeriCorps alumni found that eight out of 10 alumni say AmeriCorps benefited and advanced their career path, and that AmeriCorps alumni are more likely to attain a bachelor’s degree or higher than the average American adult.
The 16th Annual Friends of National Service Awards is sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal, CSX, The Corps Network and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Voices for National Service is a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions, who work to ensure Americans of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to serve and volunteer in their community. Founded in 2003, Voices for National Service has built strong bipartisan support among our nation’s leaders and helped to elevate national service as a powerful strategy for tackling unmet needs, preparing young people for work, uniting our country and developing civic character.