COLLEGE STATION, T.X.— The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service held two hearings on national service. The first hearing explored ways to improve current national service policies and processes, ensuring access to, awareness of, and aspiration for national service. The second hearing will explore how to create more national service opportunities, including requirements for new sources of funding, new program models, systems, infrastructures, and/or partnerships.
“Although between 80,000 and 85,000 individuals serve the nation through full-time AmeriCorps or Peace Corps programs, and over 200,000 seniors participate in Senior Corps programs, the potential for service in a country of more than 329 million people still remains largely untapped,” said Chairman Joe Heck. “We know more Americans want to serve, but we want to know how we create a clear and supported path to service?"
“My years as Director of the Peace Corps were among the most fulfilling and rewarding years of my life,” said Vice Chair for National and Public Service Mark Gearan. “It was an enormous privilege to be part of President Kennedy’s legacy. As past chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service, I have seen the impact programs like Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America have. I appreciated hearing more from the experts in the national service field to help us spark a culture of service.”
Both hearings were hosted at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.
“This school embodies President George H.W. Bush’s legacy and a place where we could have hosted any of our military, national, and public service hearings,” said Gearan. “President Bush lived his life in service to others and as a strong leader who believed service could unite Americans. At the Commission, we believe that, and hope to follow in his footsteps.”
Panelists for the hearing, Improving Current National Service Policies and processes:
- Michelle K. Brooks, Chief of Staff, Peace Corps
- Chris Bugbee, Chief Operating Officer, OneStar Foundation
- AnnMaura Connolly, President for Voices for National Service and Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President of City Year, Inc.
- Pierre Nguyen, Disaster Response Programs Manager, Texas Conservation Corps of American YouthWorks
- Barbara Stewart, CEO, Corporation for National and Community Service
Panelists for the hearing, Creating More National Service Opportunities:
- Kaira Esgate, CEO, America’s Service Commissions
- Brian Larkin, Program Officer of Flint, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
- Natalye Paquin, Esq., President and CEO, Points of Light
- Shirley Sagawa, CEO and Founder, Service Year Alliance
- Jaime Ernesto Uzeta, CEO, Public Allies
- Improving Current National Service Policies and Processes
- Creating More National Service Opportunities
The Commission will hold 14 hearings through June 2019. Each hearing will provide an opportunity for the Commission to receive testimony on key topics within the Commission’s mandate. Members of the public have an opportunity to provide comments at each hearing following the conclusion of testimony.
The National Commission on Military, National and Public Service is an 11-member bipartisan commission tasked for the first time in American history, with comprehensively and holistically reviewing the Selective Service System, along with military, national, and public service. The Commission hopes to ignite a national conversation about ideas of service as it develops recommendations for the Congress, the President, and the American public by March 2020. The Commission invites the public to share comments on its website and join the digital conversation on service on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.