Impact of Service Years

Service years transform lives, strengthen communities, and fuel civic renewal.


Service Years Transform Lives

Service years create pathways to opportunity for young people and allow them to develop real-world experience as well as valued professional and leadership skills.

Service years helps young people of all backgrounds advance on career and college pathways. For example:

  • National service is backed by over 600 “Employers of National Service” who highly value the skills individuals gain during their service.
  • 200 higher education institutions match the AmeriCorps education award because they value the national service experience.
  • 79% say that their service year was a defining professional experience.
  • 74% of YouthBuild graduates earn a GED or high school diploma through the program and more than half go on to further education or employment.
  • AmeriCorps alumni are more likely to attain a bachelor’s or graduate degree than the average American adult.

Learn more:

Corps Member Curriculum: Strengthening Service Years as a Postsecondary Option

Service Years as a Workforce Development Strategy

Service Years + Higher Education

Service Years Strengthen Communities

Service years provide cost-effective human capital that can be utilized by local communities to tackle our biggest challenges, like educational equity, disaster response, health, conservation, and more.

Service years help communities tackle local problems. For example:

  • In 2017, 2,000 AmeriCorps members from all 50 states were deployed to Texas, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands in response to hurricanes.
  • Students tutored by Reading Corps AmeriCorps members increase their reading levels, saving millions in special education and academic remediation costs.
  • AmeriCorps Urban Safety corps members reduced crime in midtown Detroit by more than 50%.
  • Youth corps conduct energy audits and weatherize homes, reducing energy usage by millions of kWh per year and saving low-income residents hundreds of dollars annually.

Learn more: 

Service years as a strategy to respond to COVID-19

The Case for National Service as a Solution to Critical Contact Tracing Needs

Service Years Improve Education Outcomes

Service Years Fuel Civic Renewal

Service years bring people together across lines of difference around a shared experience that builds cultural competency and enhances civic engagement.

Service years develop better citizens. For example:

  • 9 out of 10 AmeriCorps alums report that their service year experience improved their ability to solve problems, and 8 out of 10 report that if they were confronted with a community issue, they could develop a plan to address it and get others to care.
  • YouthBuild increases social trust and community orientation among the low-income youth who serve in the program.
  • AmeriCorps, YouthBuild, and Peace Corps alumni vote and volunteer throughout their lives at higher rates than their peers.
By Keri Bass
Keri Bass Assistant Director of Vocational Exploration and Career Coach