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Kelly M. Johnson, Director of Marketing
(989) 776-0547
27. October 2015
Release date: Immediate
Michigan Community Service Commission shifts focus for AmeriCorps programs in Saginaw County
With the goal of encouraging youth to become more physically healthy and less likely to engage in risk-taking
behavior, United Way of Saginaw County’s AmeriCorps Healthy Kids Healthy Futures Partnership Program has
worked with several collaborative partners to make an impact on the Saginaw County community.
Since 2013, the program has had an average of 980 unduplicated youth, positively impacted by AmeriCorps
members through daily programs each year. Approximately 85% of the students stated they now have a healthier
attitude and behavior because of the presence of AmeriCorps members, and this is echoed by their parents.
Facilitated by United Way, the program provides a win-win situation for all organizations involved. The following
eleven organizations serve as host sites where AmeriCorps members serve: Boys & Girls Clubs of the Great Lakes
Bay Region, Boy Scouts of America, CAN Council of the Great Lakes Bay Region, First Ward Community Services,
Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, Hidden Harvest, Houghton Jones Neighborhood Association, Neighborhood House,
Saginaw County Youth Protection Council, The Salvation Army and YMCA of Saginaw. Additionally, Saginaw Valley
State University serves as recruitment partner and the Michigan State Police serves as law enforcement partner.
After submitting a renewal application for this program to the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC),
the organization that oversees AmeriCorps State programs in Michigan, United Way received word that the
health-focused program was “not being recommended for future funding”.
“This AmeriCorps program was an unprecedented and collaborative success for our community. We created real
change in Saginaw: residents and students became service experts, agencies shared resources, and youth were
empowered to live more healthfully. We thank the partners for their collaborative efforts and look forward to
continuing the positive momentum throughout this last year,” said Joshua Hales, AmeriCorps program director.
In addition to the renewal submission for AmeriCorps funding, United Way also submitted an application for a
new, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focused program. The MCSC has selected that program
to move forward to the next step of the application process. Pending federal funding, an announcement on this
program will be made in 2016.
“Although we are disappointed that both AmeriCorps programs were not selected, we are proud of the many
accomplishments that the Healthy Kids Healthy Futures Partnership Program created. As we continue to move
forward, we are hopeful for the opportunity to implement a STEM-focused AmeriCorps program, which would
enable us to continue our efforts with current partners in a new capacity as well as collaborate with additional
partners,” said United Way of Saginaw County President/CEO, Larry Sims.