Blog Archive

Blog Archive

Service as a Pathway to Success

High school graduation rates are at a 40-year high, but there are still tens of millions of young people who leave high school without diplomas, get stuck without jobs or in dead-end ones and never get to college or careers. We’re excited to announce a new approach to the problem, one that uses volunteer service as a pathway to success: ServiceWorks.

This Queens Teen Attacks Bullying

Maryam Farooq was never bullied at school, but she saw classmates endure teasing and insults. She lamented the crushing effect bullying had on her friends. So Maryam, of Queens, N.Y., decided to act. In 2011, as an eighth grader, she founded a school chapter of No Place for Hate, a program sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League that aims to fight bullying and create safer learning environments by promoting unity and respect.

For His Courage to Compromise, President George H. W. Bush Receives Kennedy Library Foundation Honor

President George H. W. Bush, Points of Light's founder, was named a recipient of the 2014 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award today for a decision that – though it may have cost him personally – benefitted the greater good.

From `True Detective’ to Your Favorite Show – Help Make National Service Famous

ServeAYear.org will connect the stories and impact that AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps alumni are making every day on some of our nation’s toughest issues to the writers and producers in Hollywood who are ready to tell these stories – from disaster relief and veteran reintegration to college access and childhood nutrition.

Here’s One Guy Who Doesn’t Procrastinate During Tax Time

During this busy tax season Richard Ornelaz is continuing a tradition he started more than a quarter-century ago. Every year during tax time the IRS accountant volunteers more than 80 hours helping predominately Spanish-speaking, middle- and lower-income families in his city of Houston prepare and file their federal tax returns.

How Serving in AmeriCorps Led to Working for Google

In 2011, I spotted a tweet from @iheartpgh that simply said “Like technology? Like helping nonprofits?” with a link to a blog post. The link eventually lead me to the application for HandsOn Tech, an AmeriCorps VISTA program created by Points of Light in partnership with HandsOn Network and Google. My experience as VISTA member led to a job at Google.

You May Not Be Counted, but You Count

There was some understandable hand-wringing when the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that the volunteer rate in America decreased by one percentage point. But whichever way we define today's volunteers, their impact is surely at an all-time high.

What an 11-Year-Old Taught Her Neighborhood

When Jennifer Steiner’s family moved to a new neighborhood, she was surprised to see no recycling bins in front of houses. Eleven years old at the time, she learned about recycling in elementary school and knew its importance to the environment. Steiner felt inspired to educate the community and launched her own door-to-door campaign, One Small Step, to encourage people to start recycling.

Get Your Volunteers Recognized by the President

National Volunteer Week is coming up – April 6 to 12 – and we’ve got a special way for your organization or company to recognize outstanding volunteers in your community. The President’s Volunteer Service Award honors Americans who, by their commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service.

What We Have Learned From Businesses That Help Their Communities

Companies across America are realizing that maintaining success goes beyond satisfying consumers and stakeholders. It’s also about improving the quality of life in the communities where they do business.

Chelsea Clinton Will Be There. Will You?

Points of Light announced today that Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, will be among the featured speakers at the opening session of its 2014 Conference on Volunteering and Service, June 16-18 in Atlanta.

Five of the Scariest Letters for College-Bound Students Demystified by One America Volunteers

Five little letters stood between my son and the college experience – FAFSA. To qualify for financial aid, eligible students must complete the FAFSA, short for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. So, when the One America tour rolled into Atlanta offering free help completing the FAFSA, I eagerly accepted this gift from the gods of financial aid.

Volunteering and Hong Kong, With a Dash of Ginger Rogers

In a nod to the recent International Women’s Day and the HandsOn Network affiliates across the globe that make it easier for people to volunteer, we feature this Q and A with Caroline Sprod, executive director of HandsOn Hong Kong.

Got Skills? Here’s How to Use Them to Help Others

If you’ve got professional skills you can share to help people in your community, pro bono volunteering may be for you. Investor’s Business Daily recently highlighted the practice by telling the story of Rebecca Fayed, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer. The article quotes Jackie Norris, head of the Points of Light Corporate Institute (pictured right).

Thinking About Summer? We’ve Got a Hot Activity for You in June

Join us in sunny Atlanta June 16 - 18 for a gathering of 5,000 people on a single mission – to strengthen communities and change lives through volunteer service. The 2014 Conference on Volunteering and Service will showcase those who have new ideas and proven solutions to tough community problems.

Digging Out of Debt With Help From Volunteer Financial Coaches

Even with a full-time job, Cat struggled with her finances. But thanks to a financial coach who came to her through the Financial Opportunity Corps, Cat recently created a budget and identified places where she can cut spending and move toward a debt-free future.

Getting Real About Getting Young People Ready for the Job Market at One America Atlanta

Their minds set on college, high school seniors Diamond Moore and Jermessia Weems came to tonight's One America College and Career Fair hoping to learn more about volunteering, college financial aid and opportunities after graduation. As they learned from their volunteer adviser, "There's a whole world out there."

Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam Gives Girls a Helping of What She Got as a Kid

You might know her as Rudy Huxtable, the adorable, truth-telling youngest sibling on “The Cosby Show,” or as Miranda Payne, a con artist who turned her life around on “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.” But to hundreds of girls in Atlanta, actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is simply “Miss Keshia" – their mentor at Kamp Kizzy.

Want to Build on Your AmeriCorps Skills for a Career? Check Out This Opportunity

In the decade following my term in AmeriCorps, I continued to hone the skills I’d built in national service, before deciding to enroll in the SIT Masters in International Education program. I only had a glimpse of the field I wanted to pursue during trips abroad, but at SIT I really learned the why, what and how-to of international education.

When You Listen to Young People, Great Things Can Happen

Miguel stood out to me as soon as I started my service here at Sylmar Biotech Health Academy, near Los Angeles. He approached me with a request – to create a school drama club. He definitely had a vision and a goal and knew what he wanted. I really liked that about him and appreciated it.

Entrepreneurs: Here’s How to Nail Your Startup Accelerator Application

For many startup accelerator programs, the written application is your only chance to prove why your venture deserves a shot. As the application deadline for the Points of Light Civic Accelerator nears (Friday, March 7 – don’t forget!), we thought we’d compile the most common application blunders and offer a few pointers to make your application shine.

So You Want to Volunteer. Now What?

You care about helping your community and those who are less fortunate. But, how? When it comes to figuring out what you have to offer your community, or one agency in particular, a little self-reflection time should be first on your to-do list.