Announcing the Launch of Serve A Year
Today Chelsea Clinton and Jimmy Kimmel will join ServiceNation at an event to announce the launch of Serve A Year – an initiative that will unite influential Americans to inspire millions of young people to serve a year in their communities through programs like AmeriCorps. The event will be held at the Jimmy Kimmel Live studio lot in Los Angeles, in front of an audience of over 200 Hollywood executives, writers and producers, tech entrepreneurs and senior corporate executives. The goal of the campaign is simple but ambitious: to make a service year after high school or college the expectation, not the exception.
“This is a critical time for our country. We have pressing challenges on many fronts and young people hungry to both help strengthen their communities and develop the skills and experiences employers are looking for, said Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation. “If we can inspire and empower the next generation to serve, we can help solve our most pressing challenges and give young people the opportunities they're asking for and deserve. Our communities and future will be stronger when we work together.”
This past fall at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York City, Chelsea Clinton announced Making Service Year Part of American Life, a CGI commitment valued at $15 million which brings together multiple national service organizations and private sector companies to add 30,000 service year opportunities by 2017 and provide an opportunity to serve for 1 million young Americans by 2023.
Chelsea Clinton, who will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live later that evening (11:35 ET / 10:35 CT on ABC), will also share the stage with writers, producers, and actors like Emmy Winner Joe Morton -- who appears in a PSA for Serve A Year alongside Jimmy Kimmel, Keegan Michael Key, and Jordan Peele -- in addition to some of America’s most creative and influential companies, including Airbnb, Tumblr, Comcast and NBCUniversal, which have all committed their resources to make this vision a reality.
“Enriching our neighborhoods is at the core of Airbnb, and we are proud to partner with ServiceNation in building a powerful, national movement to expand and inspire millions of young people to serve a year in communities across America,” said Joe Gebbia, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Airbnb.” Teaming up with our incredible host community, we're thrilled to help provide new AmeriCorps members with a welcoming place to call home as they embark on their year of service to strengthen America's cities and communities.”
But this effort is about more than national service alone. It’s about changing our culture so that high school students expect to commit to a year of service. “Today, the expected path is high school, college, and then a career,” said Zach Maurin, Executive Director of ServiceNation. “We want to redefine growing up to include a service year that will help tackle our nation’s challenges and empower the next generation. We envision a day when you’re as likely to hear young people ask each other, ‘where will your year of service be’ as you would, ‘where are you applying to college?’”
To do that, ServiceNation will need help from the entertainment industry. So Serve A Year is bringing together some of the biggest cultural influencers in our country, from celebrities to television shows to viral video creators. “We know that if we want to reach millions of millennials and inspire them to serve a year, we need to go to the places they are already looking,” said Maurin. As a result, ABC’s hit sitcom The Middle – one of the many shows that ServiceNation has met with over the past few months – will announce that one of their main characters will join AmeriCorps next season.
“It’s clear that far too many young people do not know that a service year is even an option,” said DeAnn Heline, co-creator and executive producer of The Middle. “By introducing an AmeriCorps member into our story, our show can play a vital role in changing the national conversation around this issue and add incredible depth and experience to the lives of our characters.”
This campaign is based on a similar initiative that helped popularize the concept of the “Designated Driver.” To do this, the Harvard School of Public Health worked with Hollywood writers to insert drunk driving prevention messages into popular shows. Over a four-year period, more than 160 prime-time programs incorporated this concept and the country saw a 30% decline in drunk driving fatalities between 1988 and 1994. ServiceNation hopes to take this template and apply it to a year of service. And since people consume wide range of media in 2015, Serve A Year will work both with traditional and digital programming as well as companies that want to engage Millennials.
Over the next three years, Serve A Year will continue to engage the creative community in an effort to reach millions of Americans looking for an opportunity to serve. ServiceNation has already seen a massive growth in their grassroots movement – which now consists of over 550 organizations in all 50 states – working to expand opportunities for all Americans to serve. Through Serve A Year and its grassroots network, ServiceNation hopes to achieve its vision of a world where a year of service becomes part of the American way of life.
Stay tuned for updates, pictures, and videos throughout the day!