- C.O.R.E. stands for Community, Opportunity, Responsibility, Empowerment.
- Over 30 full-time and part-time members serving local communities.
- Over 20 non-profit partner service sites.
- Serving 6 counties in Pennsylvania’s Heartland.
- Serving rural and urban areas.
- Program year runs from Mid-August through the following Mid-August.
- Member service areas include Education, Healthy Futures and Volunteer Management.
- In addition to service at non-profit sites, members participate in both large and small group service projects throughout area communities.
- Member ages are 17 and up.
- In addition to the over 46,000 hours of service that members render, they also leverage other volunteer help for the communities.
- 75% of members have either completed college degrees or have some college credits.
- Full-time members who successfully complete 1700 hours earn an education award of $5,730.00.
- Members receive a modest living stipend based on their term of service.
- Members commit to serve a one year term and may repeat for a second year of service.
- Two staff manage the C.O.R.E. program.
- Sponsor agency of C.O.R.E. Susquehanna is the Union-Snyder Community Action Agency.
- State Agency overseeing funding grant is PennSERVE.
- The Motto of AmeriCorps is “Getting Things Done”.
C.O.R.E. Susquehanna AmeriCorps Program flows from a rich history of national service. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt organized the Civilian Conservation Corps. Following WWII, the GI Bill was passed, and service was tied to educational benefits. In 1960, President John F. Kennedy sought to relieve international distress and poverty through the Peace Corps. And in 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson was instrumental in the creation of the Vista program as a Domestic Peace Corps.
In 1990 President G.H. Bush introduced the National and Community Service Act as a way of formalizing citizen service. In September of 1993, President William Clinton, with strong bipartisan support, signed the National and Community Service Trust Act into law. This law created a national headquarters that would administer the funds set aside to support community service programs including Vistas, the Senior Corps, Learn and Serve, and AmeriCorps.
In the early part of 1994, the Union-Snyder Community Action Agency was asked by several local organizations to become the lead agency in organizing and administering an AmeriCorps program. USCAA worked with agencies and community leaders to develop the program concept, and in 1994 submitted and was awarded an AmeriCorps grant. CORE Susquehanna began with a 25 member corps that partnered with non profit and government organizations in Union, Snyder, and Northumberland Counties in the areas of public safety, environment, human needs, and education.
Today CORE Susquehanna AmeriCorps has over 30 members providing service through sites in six counties. Member service includes literacy support, case management, shelter support, youth services, mentoring, outreach, and public education at schools, agencies, health and fitness education, and community organizations.
In addition to service at a site, each member is also involved in CORE wide service projects and a service focus team, which meets regularly to identify, develop and implement community service projects. These projects address local needs and involve business, volunteer, and community support and collaborations.
To date, CORE Susquehanna has provided educational support to thousands of students, helped thousands of individuals and families address basic needs and develop skills, generated thousands of volunteer hours, and developed and supported many community partnerships and initiatives.
In 2001, following the tragedies of September 11, President Bush further consolidated many of the national service programs under the USA Freedom Corps, and added a Citizens Corps that would help with homeland security measures. American citizens were also urged to devote 4,000 hours of service to their country over a lifetime.