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West Texas A&M recruits for AmeriCorps Program

By Roz Brown

Texas News Service

AUSTIN, Texas — A university in the Texas Panhandle is partnering with area high schools, community colleges and other organizations to generate more career opportunities through the AmeriCorps program.
West Texas A&M University said collaboration with AmeriCorps will encourage young people to build skills and go on to become the next generation of leaders, in whatever capacity they choose.
Laura Seals, program manager for Access to Success West Texas, said there are a variety of ways to participate.
“In a community college setting, that might be doing certifications that lead to a career,” Seals suggested. “It might be doing the work that you need to get into your next step, if you’re going to a four-year university.”
Texas A&M was awarded $2 million from the OneStar Foundation and the Greater Texas Foundation to fund the AmeriCorps expansion.
A recent Brookings Institution report calls on the country to expand programs such as AmeriCorps, YouthBuild and conservation corps over the next few years.
Brookings proposed increasing the number of national service positions to 600,000 by 2024, to help with the nation’s recovery from the pandemic and for young people who need work.
Seals noted training participants received through AmeriCorps will allow them to serve on college campuses to help students find resources and stay on track with their academic plans.
“They will have done mentoring, tutoring, one-on-one work with people,” Seals explained. “They’ve developed communication skills. There’s a lot of that transferable skill that can really benefit any future career goal.”
If selected for the AmeriCorps program, applicants will receive a living allowance each month during the service year. At the end of the program, they’re also eligible for money to pay off a student-loan debt or to fund additional educational expenses going forward.
Information sessions via Zoom are scheduled for today and next Tuesday. To register, email Seals at lseals@wtamu.edu.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.