Service Group Seeks Students

AmeriCorps, a key component of President Clinton's national service initiative, is recruiting Cantabridgians for a local service program's October 18 kickoff.

"Academics for Changing Times"--Cambridge's entry in the AmeriCorps program roster--will provide teachers and mentors for city after-school programs.

The AmeriCorps program provides tuition money for young adults who volunteer for one or two years of community service.

In Cambridge, AmeriCorps teachers will work both with students about to enter high school and with recent immigrants, trying to help them deal with the pressures of teenage life in America, said Cambridge Community Services (CCS) Executive Director Susan Golden.

While most AmeriCorps positions require a full time two-year commitment, the CCS program will allow participants to volunteer part-time and also pursue other activities.

CCS hopes to fill all 22 of its available positions, 12 of which are earmarked for local college students, by the week after next.

The youth leaders will be asked to commit at least 10 hours a week to the program. For their work they will be paid an hourly stipend and awarded a $2363 scholarship when their terms are up. But students will receive more than mere monetary gains for their work, Golden said.

"[Corps members] will have the experience of learning to teach and learning to be role models for these younger students," she said. "And to develop relationships with people out in the community and to put some of their learning into practice."

In a panel discussion yesterday at the Office of Career Services, Cambridge Community Services Associate Director Lila Allen said students from all Cambridge colleges are being recruited for the program.

Allen said she encouraged students interested in someday pursuing public service careers to consider AmeriCorps.

"The whole direction [in public service] is in youth development," she said. "People are getting into that. If they have experience, it will be invaluable in the future."

Although grant money from the AmeriCorps National Service Corporation helped launch the Cambridge Community Service Program, its mission is defined by local concerns.

Cambridge school volunteers and several other organizations, including the Phillips Brooks House Association, worked together to define the needs of Cambridge youth, Allen and Golden said.

Golden said anyone interested in learning more about AmeriCorps should contact her at 876-5214.