AUGUSTA -- Maine’s newest AmeriCorps members, hailing from the state and across the country, gathered virtually Monday, Nov. 15 to participate in the 27th annual Maine AmeriCorps induction ceremony.
Maine Supreme Court Associate Justice Andrew Mead presided over the ceremony and reading of the AmeriCorps Pledge, which each new members recites to affirm their commitment to serving Maine communities.
“The AmeriCorps program is one of the best and clearest examples of what good people can do to bring forth the best of the spirit of the community for the common good,” shared Justice Mead to the more than 40 AmeriCorps members who were able to attend the afternoon ceremony.
AmeriCorps members serve in Maine to gain valuable skills while supporting community organizations in the areas of early childhood education and development, mentorship, environmental conservation, green energy education, expanding access to outdoor recreation, improving the lives of Maine’s aging population, and community resilience, among others. Member benefits include a living allowance and a post-service education award.
“You are catalysts for positive chance,” added Justice Mead. “Your good works are like seeds that take root and grow and spread and produce new growth themselves.”
The ceremony, hosted by Volunteer Maine Commission Chair Jenni Tilton-Flood, also featured remarks by a group of AmeriCorps alumni. Each speaker touched on the positive impact AmeriCorps service has on the self and the community. The alumni group was made up of Margaret Brownlee, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Maine Department of Education; Carolyn Brady, a graduate student at Georgetown University, member of Bowdoin College’s class of 2019, and Miss Maine 2019-2020; along with Clara McCool, Regional Broadband Associate with the Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) and the 2020 Governor’s Awards for Service and Volunteerism Outstanding National Service Volunteer.
The new class of AmeriCorps members also participated in an activity titled “why I serve.” Prior to the event, each new member was asked to write a sentence or statement that sums up their decision to serve Maine communities. The group was then prompted to display their “why I serve” statement for a group photo.
“Why I serve” statement examples:
- “I serve because the future is what we make it together” - Joe Olivia, GPCOG AmeriCorps Resilience Corps member
- “I serve to share what I have learned from others” - Donna Palmer, UMaine Center on Aging Lifelong Maine AmeriCorps member
- “I serve to meet the needs of young people” - Mitchell Del Frate, Trekkers AmeriCorps Aspirations member
- “I serve to be a support system of kindness and compassion to those who need it most” - Sidney Suarez, Kennebec Valley Community Action Plan/Educare Central Maine First 4 AmeriCorps member
- “I serve to build a more equitable and inclusive community and society” - Hailey Castle-Miller, GPCOG AmeriCorps Resilience Corps member
Use the following link to visit the AmeriCorps section of the Volunteer Maine website to access additional information on AmeriCorps programs in Maine -- click here.
Replay: 27th Maine AmeriCorps induction ceremony
About Volunteer Maine
Volunteer Maine, the state service commission, builds capacity and sustainability in Maine's volunteer sector by funding service programs, developing volunteer managers and service-learning practitioners, raising awareness of the scope and the impact of the volunteer sector, and encouraging an ethic of service. On Oct. 16, 2019, the Maine Commission for Community Service adopted the public identity Volunteer Maine.
Bryan Roche, communications officer
Office: (207) 624-7836
Cell: (207) 446-3471
About the annual Maine AmeriCorps induction ceremony
Each fall, soon after the start of the traditional AmeriCorps program year, Volunteer Maine gathers newly serving and continuing AmeriCorps members for this annual ceremony. It serves as the symbolic launch of the AmeriCorps service term. In a one-year term, these individuals serve Maine non-profits, schools and community organizations.
AmeriCorps, a federal agency, brings people together to tackle the country’s most pressing challenges, through national service and volunteering. AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serve with organizations dedicated to the improvement of communities. AmeriCorps helps make service to others a cornerstone of our national culture. Learn more at AmeriCorps.gov.
Additional media coverage
"Volunteer Maine welcomes, celebrates new class of Maine AmeriCorps members during annual induction ceremony" -- Bangor Daily News -- access here
'Volunteer Maine welcomes new class of AmeriCorps members" -- Portland Press Herald: Briefs 11/23/21 -- access here
"Volunteer Maine celebrates new class of AmeriCorps members" -- Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel -- access here