Sep 05
September 5, 2014

Celebrating Service in Seven Photos


Two decades ago at the White House, President Clinton welcomed the first class of AmeriCorps members with the vision of a national service program that would empower youth and create lasting change in communities across the nation. 

Over the last 20 years, AmeriCorps has built upon President Clinton’s vision and expanded upon the belief that national service is critical to addressing our country’s challenges. Today, more than 900,000 AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1.2 billion hours of service, which includes helping their fellow Americans graduate from high school, gaining access to health care, helping veterans transition to civilian life after military service, and helping families put their lives back together after natural disasters.

As we celebrate the spirit of service this year, take a look at seven photos of how AmeriCorps began 20 years ago and how it continues to impact communities everywhere. 

Corporation for National and Community Service
On September 21, 1993, President Clinton marches across the South Lawn of the White House before signing the National and Service Trust Act of 1993, which led to the creation of AmeriCorps one year later. 

On September 12, 1994, President Clinton swears in five new AmeriCorps members in the Oval Office. 

Following the AmeriCorps swearing-in ceremony, President Clinton greets new members of AmeriCorps on the North Portico at the White House.

President Clinton delivers remarks to the 500 new members of AmeriCorps on the North Portico at the White House on September 12, 1994. 

Corporation for National and Community Service
AmeriCorps places thousands of teachers, tutors, and mentors into low performing schools, helping students succeed in school and gain skills necessary to get 21st century jobs. 

Corporation for National and Community Service
Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer and Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the Domestic Policy Council, Jonathan Greenblatt lead FEMA Corps, a unit of AmeriCorps NCCC, members in a cheer before they begin cleaning up Far Rockaway, NY, after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. 

Barbara Kinney / Clinton Foundation
President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton visit City Year South Africa in Johannesburg and meet with City Year Service Leaders in July 2012. City Year South Africa – expanded through a 2006 Clinton Global Initiative commitment – was established to bring young South Africans together to strengthen their community and engage in service. Since the program's inception in 2005, more than 1,200 young South Africans have served their communities. 
Leading up to AmeriCorps' 20th anniversary on September 12, 2014, we will be featuring stories of service – from those who helped bring AmeriCorps to life 20 years ago, to individuals who have taken the AmeriCorps pledge and dedicated their lives to creating positive change in their communities. Follow stories of service on our blog