What About a Year of Service?

By LIFT on March 29, 2015

Categories: Events, News, Our Work

Serve A Year is uniting some of the biggest players in entertainment, technology, business, media, and nonprofits to inspire young Americans to spend a year in national service. LIFT is proud to be a service partner for the Serve A Year initiative. Our LIFT-Los Angeles staff had the chance to attend the launch of the initiative this past week. Here are some takeaways from their experience.

“The idea of this is to put less focus on yourself and more focus on others.” –Jimmy Kimmel                                

Highlights from the Event

  • The CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, read a letter from LIFT National’s Shriver Corps Communications Fellow, Sambavi, describing why she serves: “I’m really looking forward to my year of service because as an AmeriCorps member you get to be part of the community whom you serve. I have the opportunity to meet so many innovative and compassionate global citizens who are so passionate about helping others. It is an inspiring environment to be a part of because it allows me to forge my own sense of service.” Sambavi is the first AmeriCorps member to benefit from the new partnership between Airbnb and ServiceNation. Go Sambavi!
  • LIFT-Los Angeles Shriver Program Fellow Raisa Ma was interviewed by Jovana from ABC7 News about her service experiences as a third year AmeriCorps member. Raisa commented that “it’s a win-win situation. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain from this experience. Not only are you going to be giving back to your community, but you’re going to be able to develop yourself both professionally and personally and really find what it is that you want to do in the long run.”
  • Four AmeriCorps members spoke about their experience serving.
    • A young lady currently serving as a Team Leader with City Year Los Angeles spoke about working with an underprivileged student.
    • AmeriCorps Alumna who served in Los Angeles back in the 1990s and is now a doctor in San Francisco spoke about her service experience.
    • Current Corps members with LA Conservation Corps spoke about growing up in South LA, and is now attending West LA College pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice.
    • A Veteran who served in the Middle East and is currently physically disabled (he was on crutches) spoke about his desire to continue serving to his country upon return. He felt a sense of fulfillment from this work and wanted to give back to other veterans seeking resources.
    • Joe Morton (Rowan Pope/Olivia Pope’s dad on Scandal) talked about growing up in a service-oriented culture and the need for young people to get involved in service.
    • Zach Maurin from ServiceNation made a compelling speech about “having two fears.”
  • People will say that the idea of serving a year is “nice” and not take it seriously. In reality, this is something necessary. Zach stated that “nearly half of all young people are unemployed or underemployed, one million students are dropping out of school each year, communities are struggling to rebuild in a country that feels increasingly more partisan and divided every day.” Zach followed with a call to action, stressing its importance on both ourselves as young 20-somethings as well as on the nationwide impact it could have.

Why should I serve a year?

  • It is a “win-win” situation. You are going to gain a lot of professional and personal development while simultaneously helping to lift our communities out of poverty and onto stable ground.
  • You are nationally recognized as being a part of a service organization with a long-standing history of commitment, excellence, and compassion. AmeriCorps #getsthingsdone.
  • Doing a year of service reflects well on your character and helps you build skills and contacts to advance professionally in your career.
  • There is a huge need for service in this country – and every person plays a part in making this world a better place.
  • To gain exposure to work you may not have come in contact with before, thus building new skills.
  • To help animals, the environment, and people become as healthy and strong, consequently building stronger communities and a stronger nation.
  • To take action on poverty alleviation and disaster relief.

To learn more about the Serve A Year visit www.serveayear.org.