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AmeriCorps volunteers pledge to help others through community service

More than 450 Illinoisans are sworn in during ceremony in Bloomington

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[OCT. 29, 2004]  BLOOMINGTON -- During the opening day ceremony for the AmeriCorps program, more than 450 Illinoisans committed to a year of serving their communities. The ceremony at the Interstate Conference Center in Bloomington earlier this week marked the 10th anniversary of the AmeriCorps program.

"AmeriCorps is an excellent opportunity for young people to volunteer their time and talents and give something back to their communities," said Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary Carol L. Adams, Ph.D. "Illinois has a strong tradition of volunteerism and compassion for those in need. Whether it is helping children learn to read, mentoring young people or assisting elderly persons, AmeriCorps volunteers make a real difference in the communities in which they serve."

AmeriCorps members dedicate a year to helping communities meet their unmet human service, education, public safety or environmental needs. They receive a modest living allowance, health insurance, student loan deferment and training. Members who successfully complete their service receive an educational award of up to $4,725 to help pay for college, graduate school, vocational training or to pay off student loans.

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The Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service administers the AmeriCorps program in Illinois. The commission funds 17 AmeriCorps programs throughout the state.

For more information on AmeriCorps, visit www.americorps.org.

[Illinois Department of Human Services news release]

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