In early September, the sixth generation of Highland Street Corps Ambassadors of Mentoring, an AmeriCorps initiative of Mass Mentoring, were sworn into service. Massachusetts Service Alliance CEO Emily Haber and State Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry helped welcome the group and reiterated the importance of committing to civic engagement in the Commonwealth. We also had the pleasure of hearing a rousing speech from Corporation of National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer, who declared that “the future of AmeriCorps is bright.” And it is: with more than 1,200 AmeriCorps members serving across Massachusetts, there is so much to look forward to. Our AmeriCorps members are strengthening programs that in turn are strengthening communities.
For the 2013-14 service year, we have 22 host sites located across Springfield, Amherst, Worcester, Boston, Taunton and Cape Cod. I'm so pleased to share that one-third of our host sites this year are new sites. We also made a concerted effort to provide increased resources to Western Massachusetts, and as a result are serving three new programs in the region: Project Coach, Reader to Reader and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County. Out in Boston, BUILD Greater Boston, On Common Ground, and The DREAM Program are our newest host sites. For the first time, we're serving in the Cape region at Big Brother’s Big Sisters of the Cape and Islands. Not only are we attracting new host sites, but we're retaining talented Corps members, as we have three second-year Ambassadors serving at Science Club for Girls, Roxbury Community College and BUILD Greater Boston.
Our future continues to be bright, both because our program was awarded a continuation grant for this AmeriCorps initiative, and because of the commitment to high quality programming by our programs and Ambassadors. Thanks to this grant, we can release our 2014-2015 RFP to host a Highland Street Corps Ambassadors of Mentoring in early December. Next year, our goal is to target specific communities and collaborate with agencies that have a strong commitment to field diversity – including strategic planning, organizational culture, and staffing. In our goal to support you, RFP technical assistance calls will be scheduled to help orient new and returning agencies to our application.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what this current Corps of Ambassadors brings to the mentoring field, and to attracting another diverse group of host sites through the 2014-15 RFP process.
Yours in service,
Highland Street Corps Ambassadors of Mentoring