Below is a release from Senator Roger Wicker:
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., was inducted into the National Service Hall of Fame. Voices for National Service chose Senator Wicker for their organization’s highest honor because of his commitment to strengthening national service opportunities and organizations like AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors.
“I am honored to receive this recognition from Voices for National Service,” said Senator Wicker. “The AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors programs bring together the public and private sectors, local communities, and volunteers to deliver aid effectively in the times of greatest need. I am glad to support legislation that improves and expands national service opportunities.”
“Senator Roger Wicker embodies the ethic of service that makes Mississippi a great place to live and work,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President, Voices for National Service. “He has seen the impact of national service firsthand after Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and, most recently, during the pandemic. As a lead sponsor of the CORPS Act, Senator Wicker has shown his strong commitment to expanding AmeriCorps so that more Mississippians, and all Americans, have the opportunity to do purpose driven work at a time when it is needed most. We are grateful to him for his leadership and it is our honor to induct him into the Voices for National Service Hall of Fame.”
“Time and time again, Senator Wicker has been an absolute champion for our state and a torch-bearer for volunteer service,” said First Lady Elee Reeves, the honorary board chair of Volunteer Mississippi. “His support of volunteer and service organizations has helped to make significant strides in finding solutions to our state’s greatest challenges. Through service, Senator Wicker proves his love for the state of Mississippi and volunteer service each and every day. This award is hard-earned and well-deserved!”
“Senator Wicker, it really makes me proud to learn that you have been picked for the national service award,” said former Governor Haley Barbour. “For Mississippians who were anywhere in the wake of Katrina, this will mean a lot to them.”
Every year, nearly 300,000 Americans serve in national service programs that provide critical services to fulfill unmet needs. National service members tutor and mentor students, help fight the opioid epidemic, provide job training and other services to returning veterans, preserve the nation’s parks and public lands, offer disaster relief and recovery assistance after natural disasters, and support independent living for seniors and Americans with disabilities. Senator Wicker is leading the charge to expand AmeriCorps through the Cultivating Opportunity and Response to the Pandemic through Service (CORPS) Act.
Through AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors, national service allows citizens of all ages and backgrounds to play a pivotal role in their communities by serving with thousands of nonprofit faith-based and community-based organizations, including America Reads-Mississippi, College Corps, Teach For America, and AmeriCorps NCCC based in Vicksburg. The economic value of this work is enormous. A July 2020 study found that every $1 in federal money invested in national service programs returns $17.30 to society, program members, and the federal government.
During Hurricane Katrina, tens of thousands of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members came to Mississippi and the Gulf Coast and stayed for years to help communities respond to and recover from the storm. More information can be found here.
Since the coronavirus outbreak last year, members of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors have acted quickly and creatively to address gaps in services and persistent inequities that have only been worsened by the pandemic, from providing virtual teaching, tutoring and mentoring to students, to conducting wellness checks, to delivering meals. National service is a proven pathway help prepare young people prepare for future jobs, particularly for populations hardest hit by the pandemic.