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December 4, 2009

Oswego County AmeriCorps Accepting Member and Site Applications

Morgan Mears is a member of Oswego County AmeriCorps. She serves the mentoring program at Mexico Elementary School.

OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego City-County Youth Bureau is currently accepting member and site applications for Oswego AmeriCorps. A nation-wide program, AmeriCorps serves community needs in local schools, agencies and non-profit groups.

“There are many different ways that members can help; depending on the site where they are working,” said Kathy Andolina, Oswego County AmeriCorps coordinator. Services include: mentoring, providing employment skills, managing volunteers, providing out-of-school activities for youth, and building the capacity of non-profits. Some of our sites include: Oswego County Department of Social Services, Hannibal High School, Mexico Elementary School and Workforce NY.”

"Andolina added, “Our members can also participate in service events throughout the year. Most recently, a number of them took part in “Make A Difference Day” on October 24, as well as a successful blood drive at Oswego’s YMCA and leading children’s crafts at Oswego’s Hamilton Homes.”

The Oswego AmeriCorps program has been in operation for 13 years and is federally funded through the New York State Commission on National and Community Service.

There are openings for 900-hour positions with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Services and the New Haven Elementary School. Applicants assigned to these sites receive a living allowance of $6,094 and an educational award of $2,363.

“The AmeriCorps program may provide a lot of services, but there are a lot of benefits for members as well,” said Morgan Mears, Oswego AmeriCorps member. “Not only do we receive a living stipend and an educational award, which can be used for tuition or the repayment of educational loans, but we also get to be a part of a supportive environment that is geared toward community improvement and provides more opportunities to members.”

Mears added, “The focus on community and youth is one of the reasons I joined the program. Working with young people and helping them learn is a rewarding experience for me.”

Mears is a recent graduate of SUNY Binghamton and serves the mentoring program in the Mexico Elementary School. She helps youth who need extra help in reading, writing and literacy. She hopes to complete her master’s degree and teach environmental education to children.

AmeriCorps applicants must be at least 17 years of age and have a high school diploma or equivalent to meet the minimum requirements. Each site has additional qualifications for their position. Interested persons also need to be enthusiastic and dedicated to working with families, youth and the public.

Site applicants would apply under specific program objectives and provide a local share for the member costs. Applications are currently being accepted for 900-hour positions in the 2009-2010 year.

Applications are available online at www.oswegocounty.com/youth and at the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, 70 Bunner Street, Oswego.

For more information, call the youth bureau at 349-3451 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3451. Applicants can also e-mail questions to Valerie Edwin by or Kathy Andolina by .

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