WIU Peace Corps Fellows Program Receives Grant Award
June 2, 2021
MACOMB, IL – The Peace Corps Fellows Program, within the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University, learned this week it is one of 13 programs statewide receiving federal grant funding from AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and community volunteerism.
The WIU program, the only downstate program to receive federal grant funding this fiscal year, will get $185,748, and an additional $76,140 in Segal AmeriCorps Education Award funding. The grant money helps the Peace Corps Fellows program recruit returned Peace Corps volunteers, who then enroll in one of 10 graduate programs at WIU.
“These funds, which help support our Peace Corps Fellows Program, will help the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, WIU, and rural communities across the state,” said IIRA Director Christopher Merrett. “As part of the graduate students’ capstone experience, these funds help support an 11-month, 40-hour per week internship. These WIU Peace Corps Fellows make a real difference in the communities they serve. We thank the AmeriCorps program for funding our students, and ultimately our rural communities.”
The Segal Americorps Education Award funding provides an award of approximately $6,300 to AmeriCorps members who complete a full year of service. The money can be used to pay for college, or to put toward student loans.
“We appreciate AmeriCorps’ continued investment in our program,” said Peace Corps Fellows Program Director Karen Mauldin-Curtis. “The funding will allow our students to build local capacity, mobilize people, and make sustainable progress in the communities they serve throughout the state.”
For the past year, thousands of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors members, across all 50 states and U.S. territories, have continued their service, quickly adapting to meet the changing needs caused by the pandemic. Dedicated members have persisted to support communities as they respond and recover from the impact of COVID-19, developing new ways to deliver the same services to keep both themselves and those they serve safe.
The recently passed American Rescue Plan includes an additional $1 billion for AmeriCorps. The agency will use this investment to expand national service programs into new communities and increase the opportunity for all Americans to serve their country.
Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through thousands of nonprofit, community and faith-based organizations across the country. These citizens have played a critical role in the recovery of communities affected by disasters and helped thousands of first-generation college students access higher education. They also tutor and mentor young people, connect veterans to jobs, care for seniors, reduce crime and revive cities, fight the opioid epidemic, and meet other critical needs.
As the federal agency for volunteering and service, AmeriCorps brings people together to tackle the county’s most pressing challenges. Since the agency’s inception in 1994, nearly 1.2 million AmeriCorps members have served the nation.
For more information about the WIU program, visit wiu.edu/pcf. For more information about the IIRA, visit iira.org. For more information about the Peace Corps Fellows and AmeriCorps Program at WIU, contact Karen Mauldin-Curtis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations