NEWS: DeltaCorps unveils support organizations to receive inaugural class of AmeriCorps members

October 17, 2016

First class marks the one millionth AmeriCorps member, demonstrates the importance and reach of national service

Chairman Masingill: “This model leverages the power of national service to improve the lives of people and communities”

MISSISSIPPI RIVER DELTA – DeltaCorps, a national service initiative of the Delta Regional Authority and AmeriCorps, today unveiled its first five support organizations and 40 inaugural members that will work to improve lives across the Mississippi River Delta region. The first DeltaCorps class is part of AmeriCorps’ national one millionth member celebration.

“The DeltaCorps is setting a new standard for deploying AmeriCorps members to rural America – leveraging the power of national service to improve the lives of our people and communities. Not only will these members address a variety of critical needs within our community such as school preparedness and disaster readiness, but they will also experience the rich history and culture of our people and the entire Delta region. I am excited to work with them to make our communities stronger,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill.

“The Delta Regional Authority and the Corporation for National Service share an honorable and critical goal – improving the lives of Americans. I am proud that AmeriCorps can help do so in the Delta, while building a cadre of future leaders for the region,” said Bill Basl, director of AmeriCorps at the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers the AmeriCorps program. “Through the work of the organizations announced today, DeltaCorps will take the first steps in expanding services to underserved communities.”

DELTACORPS SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS

  1. SBP (formerly known as St. Bernard Project): Twenty-five DeltaCorps members will provide disaster recovery services to flood-impacted residents throughout the Baton Rouge area and continue long-term recovery operations in New Orleans. Through their work with DeltaCorps, the DeltaCorps members will maximize the impact of their service by leveraging 2,000 additional community volunteers.
  2. Hispanic Community Services, Inc: Two DeltaCorps members will serve the Hispanic populations of Jonesboro and Pocahontas, Arkansas. In Pocahontas, the DeltaCorps member will provide translation and interpretation services to increase access to healthcare services as well as employment opportunities.  In Jonesboro, the DeltaCorps member will youth leadership and education programs to high school students, playing an instrumental role in helping Hispanic students navigate the process of applying for scholarships, colleges, and the SAT/ACTs as they plan for college.
  3. Project Homecoming: Project Homecoming (PHC), a nonprofit community development organization that focuses on poverty-related and disaster-related housing and workforce development in Orleans Parish will utilize five additional DeltaCorps members to support their affordable housing, workforce development, and disaster-relief efforts. Project Homecoming will train unemployed local residents in the low entry point but high demand field of residential construction and ensure that displaced homeowners are returned to safe homes.
  4. The College Initiative: Five DeltaCorps members will provide low-income high school students in the Delta Region with financial literacy services for future college success and financial independence. At the end of each year of this project, students will demonstrate increased financial literacy, knowledge of community and campus resources, and a thorough understanding of the college financial aid process as it pertains to the FAFSA, student loans, and scholarships in Crittenden, Cross, Lee, Mississippi, Poinsett, St. Francis, and Shelby County Schools in Arkansas and Tennessee. 
  5. Pfeifer Kiwanis Camp: Through DeltaCorps resources, three DeltaCorps members will enhance the Alternative Classroom Experience with environmental and conservation activities for economically disadvantaged, at-risk students in Pulaski County, Arkansas, who participate in Pfeifer Camp programs.

DeltaCorps is inspired by the Delta Service Corps program created in the 1990s to mobilize corps members to address community needs through national service projects and is structured to continue the strategy begun by the initial program. DRA and AmeriCorps will deploy DeltaCorps members to each of the eight states of the DRA footprint: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

The announcement of the first DeltaCorps support organizations comes as the 22-year-old AmeriCorps program celebrations a major milestone: surpassing 1 million AmeriCorps members. On Friday, October 7, CNCS officially kicked off a nationwide campaign to say “Thanks a Million” to the 1 million AmeriCorps members who have pledged to “get things done” for America. For more information about how to join DeltaCorps, please visit dra/.gov/deltacorps

This year, more than 75,000 individuals will comprise the class that includes the one-millionth AmeriCorps member. Since 1994, the 1 million AmeriCorps members have provided more than 1.4 billion hours of service to the nation, and earning more than $3.3 billion in education scholarships to pay for college or pay back student loans.

DELTA REGIONAL AUTHORITY

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. These investments enhance the basic public infrastructure, transportation, workforce development, small businesses and entrepreneurs, and disaster resilience of Delta communities. Learn more at dra.gov.

AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and other programs, and leads President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit nationalservice.gov.

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Media Contact: John Collins
press@dra.gov