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Geek Corps: Answering the call (and changing the name!)

Far too many reports are issued only to collect dust on a shelf.  Fortunately, this is not the case with the Knight Commission report, "Informing Communities:  Sustaining Democracy in a Digital Age", which was issued a year ago and has been the source of ongoing converation about the role of media and information flows in 21st century democractic life.  Just this week I tuned into a symposium the Knight Commission held to mark the one year anniversary of the report, prompting me to share some thoughts on the report.Read more

People Power, Not a Portal

At the "State of Service" event put on by MassINC & AmeriCorps Alums earlier this month, creating a new "Match.com for service" portal was the idea that seemed to generate the most enthusiasm.  In these "there's an app for that" times, thinking there's a technical solution to a challenge comes naturally.  And there is certainly some evidence that doing a better job connecting people with opportunities to participate could increase civic engagement.  Back when I was starting Social Capital Inc. (SCI), I came across a League of Women Voters study which said that roughly half of the Americans they surveyed indicated that they'd like to be more civically active, and that "lack of information" was the single biggest barrier preventing them from doing so.  We have since seen similar findings in our own local survey, pointing to the need to connect people with information.Read more

SCI's AmeriCorps Opportunities

SCI AmeriCorps Member: The 18 SCI AmeriCorps members will serve between September 2011 and June 2012, and will build social capital at various sites across our six communities in Boston, Dorchester, Fall River, Lynn, Milford and Woburn. See below for specific AmeriCorps positions. We select members on a rolling basis and welcome applications currently.Read more

A Gift of Music

NuPath, a Woburn-based agency that serves individuals with disabilities, is one of SCI's newest AmeriCorps host site partners.  These days, funders and others are often most interested in our numbers, how we are providing tangible benefits in this time of great economic need.  Yet this story, relayed by Jennifer Burns, an SCI AmeriCorps member placed at NuPath, reminds us of how a seemingly small action can bring great joy to someone.  Here's Jennifer's telling of how she was able to help a musician in-the-making: Read more

AmeriCorps Team Joins SCI in Woburn

"Americorps Team Joins SCI," by Staff, The Woburn Advocate
Social Capital Inc. (SCI), a Woburn-based nonprofit, has recently been joined by a new team of AmeriCorps Members.

These new members have been placed throughout the Woburn community, helping several different organizations expand their services to the community during this time of need.
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Program highlights from 2008/09

OK, so no one likes reporting, do they? (if you do, please contact me for volunteer opportunities). Typically, when I hit "submit" as I did last night with about 4 hours to spare before the 11:59 p.m. deadline, I'm simply glad to be done and move on. But as I was working on our AmeriCorps final report for the 2008/09 year, I realized I needed to pause after getting it done and share some of the good stuff about what we accomplished.

Some of the facts: Read more

SCI Welcomes New AmeriCorps Members

Woburn Americorps MembersOn Monday, September 14th, the SCI team welcomed nineteen new AmeriCorps Members for the first time.  These men and women, many of which had just completed college, arrived anxious but ready for ten months of challenges.

We had a full week of orientation activities ahead of us.  It was a week filled to the brim both with valuable skills we would need to accomplish their mission, and hokey icebreakers to calm their nerves and introduce them to colleagues.  

We arrived at the Dotwell house in Dorchester with the desire to help people through getting them involved in their communities, but only a faint idea of how to go about the task.  Jocelyn Abelha said that “Last week I learned the scope of the project that I am getting involved with by becoming an SCI AmeriCorps member.  Since I will be serving in my own community I was not aware of how big this program is in terms of its reach for volunteers across the country.”
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SCI Participates in AmeriCorps Opening Day with Governor Patrick

SCI AmeriCorps Members with Governor Deval PatrickThe Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA) played host on November 6 to the Annual AmeriCorps Opening Day.

The yearly occasion was held at Roxbury's Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center. The event featured over 2,000 AmeriCorps members across the state, including individuals serving with Social Capital Inc. in cities such as Dorchester, Lynn, and Woburn. The AmeriCorps members were privy to a special treat in the form of guest speaker, Governor Deval Patrick (pictured above with this year's AmeriCorps team).

Patrick made mention of his days in the Peace Corps serving in Sudan and encouraged members to be excited for "the long and exciting journey" that lies ahead. After the conclusion of the Governor's speech, the MSA provided its AmeriCorps members with tours of the Massachusetts State House and the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse.
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New AmeriCorps Members Begin Serving

Social Capital Inc. has recently been joined by nineteen new AmeriCorps Members. These new members have been placed throughout the Woburn, Dorchester, Lynn, Fall River, and Milford, communities, helping several different organizations expand their services to the community during this time of need.

AmeriCorps is the national service program through which some 75,000 individuals provide a year of service to local communities; the program will be growing substantially in the coming years through the Kennedy Serve America Act. AmeriCorps is managed in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Service Alliance.

Woburn AmericorpsThere are seven Americorps members currently serving in the Woburn Area. Read more

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