Americorps, Senior Corps members recognized by mayor
By Graig Graziosi
Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown joined more than 5,000 mayors and other municipal officials who recognized the efforts of Americorps and Senior Corps members nationwide on Tuesday.
Brown and a group of 16 Americorps and Senior Corps members met at city hall where the mayor presented the group a proclamation declaring April 3 as “National Service Recognition Day.”
“Today is about telling these volunteers ‘thank you’ for all they’ve done,” Brown said. “Their efforts have been necessary for the continuing work of revitalizing our community.”
The Americorps members work through the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. and work on either the Revitalize team or as participants in the yearlong volunteer VISTA program. VISTA volunteers are pooled from across the nation, while members of the Revitalize team are local, paid staff members who often work alongside construction and landscaping professionals in YNDC blight remediation and beautification endeavors.
The Senior Corps is composed of more than 400,000 individuals nationwide and exists to help provide and build community for the country’s senior and elderly population.
Brown’s proclamation describes the Americorps and Senior Corps workers as “participants addressing the most pressing challenges facing our communities, from educating students for the jobs of the 21st century, to fighting the opioid epidemic, to responding to natural disasters, to supporting veterans and military families...”
Sean McRae, a member of the YNDC Revitalize team, said he was “speechless” that he and his co-workers were given the recognition. He is a graduate of East High School and has been working with the Americorps team since December.
Matt Serivano, one of the YNDC Americorps VISTA volunteers, moved to the area from Portland, Conn., three weeks ago. He said he’s always enjoyed giving back to the community, citing charity work he did in high school.
“I had to adjust a little when I first got here but it didn’t take long,” Serivano said. “I didn’t realize that the work we do could impact so much.”