RPCV Standing for Service
By Jonathan Pearson on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
“Participating in service makes you want to do more service.” So says Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) Wil Dalton (Bulgaria 2007-09) of College Park, Maryland. Wil was one of dozens of individuals who began their Wednesday morning at a “Stand for Service” action outside the House of Representatives office buildings organized by Americorps Alums and ServiceNation.
The reason for the action? Back in March the House passed a budget resolution that calls for the elimination of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees Americorps, Senior Corps, the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA).
Wil served in the Peace Corps with his wife, Jess West. Their Peace Corps service was inspired by their domestic service experience. After graduating from college, Wil and Jess participated in national service opportunities. In 2003, Wil worked with an NCCC team that engaged in disaster relief, home reconstruction and environmental protection projects in a northeast region stretching from New England to Maryland. Following 2004 program work in Austin, Texas, he returned to the northeast to serve one more year as an NCCC team leader.
“Service work makes me feel patriotic. It’s great to get to see communities coming together to address social problems.”
Following their national service, Wil and Jess continued participating in service activities. But soon, this ongoing
commitment to serve, coupled with an interest to travel led the couple to apply for the Peace Corps. “We wanted to represent America abroad, and learn about what others thought about Americans.”
Morgan St. Jean, Deputy Field Director for Service Nation, thanked Wil and other participants for joining the Stand for Service action. “We’re out here because the House voted to eliminate funds to support national service programs.” In noting that similar efforts in the past have been reversed, she said defending these programs requires action.
Take Action: Contact your Congressman/woman to express your support for National Service programs and express your opposition to proposals to eliminate the Corporation for National and Community Service.