Labor and Economic Opportunity
More than 600 Michigan's AmeriCorps members kicked off a new year of AmeriCorps service recently at the 2018 Member Celebration, hosted by the Michigan Community Service Commission.
The AmeriCorps members pledged a year of their lives to providing intensive, results-driven service in communities across Michigan and came together to celebrate their courage and commitment. Members participated in a day of training, workshops, learning, teambuilding and networking, enhancing their professional development with a theme of Be the Greater Good.
“AmeriCorps members are special people. They have dedicated a year of their lives to serve in communities and make an impact in our state,” said Ginna Holmes, executive director of the Michigan Community Service Commission. “We love engaging with members and giving them the tools to help solve our state’s most critical issues.”
Keynote speaker Chad Pregracke gave a speech about his nonprofit, Living Lands and Waters, which has removed more than 9 million tons of trash from U.S. waterways. Pregracke, the 2013 CNN Hero of the Year, inspired AmeriCorps members to make an impact.
“You are all powerful as individuals. You can make anything you want happen; you can do it. You can make a big difference,” Pregracke said.
AmeriCorps members spoke of their experience helping others.
“In the few months I have been in AmeriCorps, I have given a voice to the children, to the sick, to the expecting. It’s just the beginning for me and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the time has in store for me,” said Franky Perez of the Cherry Health AmeriCorps program.
Chester W. Spellman, director of AmeriCorps, Lt. Gov Brian Calley and State Rep. Julie Calley honored those who served in the military and in AmeriCorps in a special veterans presentation at the closing. The Calleys concluded the event with the AmeriCorps Pledge and a swearing-in ceremony that reaffirmed members' commitment to AmeriCorps and national service.
“Your national service is meaningful, and you will make an impact. You will change lives,” Spellman told the AmeriCorps members.
To view photos from the event, visit the Michigan Community Service Commission FLICKR page.