AmeriCorps graduates 80-plus members of FEMA Corps in Vicksburg

Published 3:14 pm Friday, March 18, 2022

More than 80 young people who pledged to “get things done” for America completed their year of service on March 11 through FEMA Corps, a community service program and partnership between AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Members served communities spanning 20 states, from Connecticut to the U.S. Virgin Islands, including Vicksburg.

FEMA Corps members deploy wherever the need is the greatest, which means members may travel across the country several times or remain in one location for the duration of service, the organization said. Together, the graduating FEMA Corps Class 27A completed more than 130,000 service hours by supporting long-term recovery and assisting COVID-19 response efforts. Their achievements include coordinating nearly 118,500 COVID-19 vaccinations, servicing more than 940 mobile housing units and providing 31,100 individuals with Hurricane Ida disaster response information, among other accomplishments.

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AmeriCorps and FEMA celebrated the achievements of class 27A in a graduation ceremony last Friday at the AmeriCorps NCCC Southern Region campus in Vicksburg. Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO, Leiloni Stainsby, FEMA Assistant Administrator for Field Operations, and Jake Sgambati, AmeriCorps Acting Director of NCCC gave remarks about the dedication and impact each member displayed during their service year.

“Today, these distinguished graduates join a growing legacy of public servants who continue to serve their communities long after their service commitment ended,” Smith said. “These graduates are part of the more than 1.2 million AmeriCorps alumni who have served over the last 29 years and are now sitting in corporate board rooms, walking the halls of Congress and working at the White House. With this graduating class, I am confident we will see even more FEMA Corps graduates in influential roles and emergency response positions moving forward.”

The graduation led into the start of AmeriCorps Week, March 13 through 19, a celebration of the millions of Americans who have chosen to serve their country through AmeriCorps and encourage more Americans to follow in their footsteps in service. Every year, AmeriCorps places more than 250,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in intensive service roles. The weeklong celebration also honors the contributions and support of thousands of community organizations that make AmeriCorps programs possible.

FEMA Corps is a unique, team-based service program that provides 18- to 24-year-old participants the opportunity to serve communities impacted by disaster while gaining professional development experience with intense training. Corps Members are responsible for completing Corps Training Institute, earning 1,700 service hours, participating in physical training and contributing to various team activities. Since 2000, AmeriCorps NCCC teams have assisted 20.6 million people in disaster areas, recruited or coordinated nearly 940,000 volunteers, assisted more than 33,000 veterans, served 6.1 million meals, protected more than 1.6 million acres of land through firefighting and fire management, and more.