Serving in AmeriCorps has positive effects on participants’ level of activity and engagement in their communities, a new study says.
“Serving Country and Community: A Longitudinal Study of Service in AmeriCorps,” is a five-year study of program participants released by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which runs AmeriCorps.
The study, the first in a long-term look at the impact of the program, says participation has a positive impact on attitudes and behaviors around civic engagement, education, employment and life skills.
Participation led to a statistically significant increase in awareness of local problems and issues, and greater involvement in community-based activities like attending public meetings, the report says.
Involvement had a significant impact on participants who did not volunteer prior to service in the program, showing that AmeriCorps can enhance civic attitudes and actions, the report says.
It also says former participants were more likely than the comparison group to be employed in public service jobs such as teaching, public safety or full-time military service.
More than 380,000 people have serviced in the program over its 10-year lifetime, the study says.