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Serve Washington welcomes new AmeriCorps members during 2023 Swearing-in ceremony

AmeriCorps members serving a the Port Angeles School District line up to take the AmeriCorps pledge during a group viewing party of the 2023 AmeriCorps Washington Swearing-in ceremony

Event also marked the 30th anniversary of AmeriCorps and Serve Washington

OLYMPIA —AmeriCorps members across the state attended a virtual swearing-in ceremony Sept.20 to celebrate the start of the new AmeriCorps service year.  A total of 337 AmeriCorps members and program staff registered to view it on Zoom. It was also streamed on TVW for the general public.four AmeriCorps members standing in front of table

The 2023-2024 service year also marks the 30th anniversary of AmeriCorps. In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the National and Community Trust Act that established AmeriCorps. Since then, more than 1.25 million people have served in AmeriCorps programs across the country. In Washington state, more than 46,000 people have served in AmeriCorps.

AmeriCorps members commit to a year of service at nonprofit organizations, state and local governments and educational institutions. AmeriCorps places approximately 200,000 members and volunteers at 36,000 service locations across the country to help address critical needs in local communities. In Washington state, 24 organizations will place 1,502 AmeriCorps at various service locations during the 2023-2024 service year.

Through their service, AmeriCorps members help close the achievement gaps for school-age children, prepare low-income students for higher education, protect our environment, and recruit and manage volunteers.

The 2023 ceremony featured a video greeting from Gov. Jay Inslee congratulating AmeriCorps and Serve Washington for three decades of promoting and encouraging service and volunteerism. Virla Spencer, an AmeriCorps VISTA alum, gave the keynote address. She described how her AmeriCorps service helped put her on a path to get out of poverty and influenced  her to co-found the Spokane-based non-profit organization, The Way to Justice. The Way to Justice is a law firm that helps formerly incarcerated people with resources related to housing and driver’s relicensing services as well as youth empowerment and community outreach.

The event also included a 30-minute, moderated question-and-answer panel with four AmeriCorps alumni who served in Washington programs.

The ceremony concluded with a recitation of the AmeriCorps pledge, followed by two virtual professional development workshops in the afternoon.

Recordings of selected segments are on Serve Washington’s YouTube channel. A recording of the entire ceremony is available on TVW’s website.

Similar swearing-in ceremonies are happening across the country this fall as AmeriCorps members begin their AmeriCorps service.  Serve Washington’s AmeriCorps Swearing-in ceremony is planned by staff, with the assistance of Serve Washington’s AmeriCorps member advisory committee. The committee is made up of current AmeriCorps members, many of whom have served more than one year of service.  Members meet regularly for about three months to plan the ceremony.

About Serve Washington: Serve Washington advances national service, volunteerism and civic engagement to improve lives; expands opportunity to meet the local critical needs of Washington; and strengthens community capacity while creating healthy and resilient communities.

For more information, visit

About AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, provides opportunities for Americans to serve the community and country domestically, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, improve lives and communities and strengthen civic engagement. Each year, the agency places more than 200,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers and intensive service roles and empowers millions more to serve as long-term, short-term or one-time volunteers. Learn more at