History

Tradition of Service

AmeriCorps is a national civilian service corps, created in the spirit of volunteerism and community service, which has been a traditional and integral part of our American history.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt organized the Civilian Conservation Corps, which is responsible for having built many of our nation’s parks and conservation areas. Following WWII, the GI Bill was created and military service to our country was awarded with educational benefits.

In 1960, President John F. Kennedy sought to relieve international distress and poverty by citizen service abroad, through the creation of the Peace Corps. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson was instrumental in the creation of the VISTA program as a domestic Peace Corps to address community issues here at home.

Experimental youth and senior service programs sprang up all over the country during the 1970’s and 1980’s. With this movement, the private and nonprofit sectors began to play a substantial role in both advocacy for, and the development of, organized citizen service on a national scale.

In President George H.W. Bush’s 1989 inaugural address he invoked the vision of a “thousand points of light,” and invites the nation to take action through service to their fellow citizens; and in 1990, he developed the “Commission on National and Community Service”, to engage U.S. citizens in community programs designed to combat illiteracy and poverty, and to address environmental issues.

Further expansion of national service took place in 1993 with the signing of the National Community Service Trust Act and the creation of AmeriCorps by President William J. Clinton. This new  law combined the concepts of volunteerism, civilian service, and  education benefits for service. Currently about 80,000 individuals serve  each year in one of the hundreds of AmeriCorps programs located across the United States addressing a variety of community challenges under the auspices of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps is Created

In 1994, local community leaders met to propose the submission of a grant that would allow for the creation of a local AmeriCorps group to be formed.  As a result of that initial meeting, the Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 became the administering agency for The Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps (PMSC); the AmeriCorps program serving communities in Southwestern-Southcentral Pennsylvania.

What We Do

  • Education: Tutor and mentor k-12 students and provide educational enrichment programs
  • Environment: Address water quality issues, restore and maintain environmental infrastructure
  • Social Services: Support victims of violence and abuse, connect disadvantaged to services, empower people with mental illness
  • Community Development: Conduct community meetings, recruit and train volunteers