June Featured Advocate – Mary Bruce
By Aubrey Peterson on Friday, June 7th, 2013
During the upcoming Stand for Service mobilization at the U.S. Capitol on June 19th, at least one participant will have the dual distinction of service in both the Peace Corps (Morocco, 2004-2006) and AmeriCorps (Washington, D.C., 1999-2000).
According to Mary Bruce, these two groups “represent the best of America – hardworking, skilled, enthusiastic Americans eager to embrace the idea of ‘big citizenship’.”
Inspired by her father and cousin’s service in the Marines, Mary always knew she wanted to give back to her country. She also needed extra financial support for college, so she signed up for AmeriCorps. She served as a teacher’s aide in D.C. Public Schools in partnership with the Latin American Youth Center in Washington, D.C., where she continues to volunteer today.
Following the events of September 11, 2001, Mary joined the Peace Corps in Morocco to better understand the Arab Muslim world. There, she supported various community projects, from small business development to latrine construction. Like her time with AmeriCorps, Mary also worked at a youth center.
Despite the vastly different settings, Mary found many similarities between her service experiences in Washington, D.C. and Morocco. “You’re often working in situations where flexibility, creativity, and tenacity are the keys to success. You’re developing an incredibly useful and unique set of 21st century skills while also working to address some of the toughest problems on the planet.”
Mary’s past service has shaped her present, both professionally and as a citizen advocate. Professionally, Mary serves as the Senior Education Advisor at Civic Enterprises, overseeing the organization’s education policy portfolio. This includes working with the Civic Marshall Plan Leadership Council, which brings together more than 40 leading national partners to support the Grad Nation goal of 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020.
As a volunteer leader and citizen advocate, Mary serves as Chair of the National Advisory Council of AmeriCorps Alums, one of the lead organizations planning the Capitol Hill action. “These opportunities helped me hone my skill set and refine my career path – all while making positive and lasting contributions to my community.”
We congratulate Mary’s dual-dedication to serving America and invite members of the Peace Corps community in the Washington area to join her at the Stand for Service event on the morning of June 19th!