March 18, 2009
Good News: GIVE Act Passes House, Moves to Senate
The GIVE Act (the Generations Invigoration Volunteerism and Education), HR 1388, passed the house with a bipartisan vote of 321-105 today. It is expected to move for a vote in the Senate next week.
If passed, how could it benefit young people?
It will create more jobs and community service opportunities for young people. It will more than triple the number of paid and unpaid volunteers of all ages serving in America, from the current 75,000 to 250,000.
It could create more paid opportunities at AmeriCorps. This federal agency places young people in non-profits working on issues that range from public education to environmental clean-up. The allowance is modest, but it will probably cover basic living expenses. Also, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 made college repayment more affordable for low-income students, such as those enrolled in AmeriCorps.
For students in college, volunteer hours could turn into college payment credits. The bill could also increase the education reward from $4,725 to $5,350 in 2010.
For high school students, the legislation will also provide new incentives to volunteer in the local communities. It would create a Summer of Service program to engage students in service and allow them to earn a $500 education award to be used for college costs.
The bill also includes the creation of Clean Energy Corps, (among other corps). These new service and volunteer programs for younger students could include programs that introduce young people to the green-collar jobs, such as performing energy audits and retrofits, weatherizing homes, rebuilding trails and parks, building and maintaining gardens and green spaces in communities, managing recycling programs, and more.
To find a Senator in your state and contact them in support or opposition of this bill, visit here. The United States Student Association has endorsed this bill.
To see what kind of National Service Programs exist in your state now and to take advantage of them, visit here.
To see the entire Bill, visit here.