Why We Should Be Investing In AmeriCorps

Why We Should Be Investing In AmeriCorps

President Trump is looking to appropriate AmeriCorps' funds for military expansion.
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Graduation Day I remember the most diverse crowd of young people I had ever seen. Hands in the air and confidence in their voices saying, “I will get things done for America - to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier. I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities. Faced with apathy, I will take action. Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground. Faced with adversity, I will persevere. I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond. I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done”.

I always felt like I had joined a mindless cult or some sort of kid’s summer camp when we were told to throw up our hands, as if we were all about to start simultaneously princess waving, and read this mantra off a computer screen.

It was not until my final day as an AmeriCorps Member that I understood the significance of the AmeriCorps Pledge. We started out as 300 misfits, unsure what we had all signed up for and walked off a stage ten months later as a unit with pride, purpose and an understanding of our place in this world.

There are some things in life that you cannot put a price tag on. The feeling of a job well done, pride in oneself, the sense of responsibility and the indescribable feeling that fills your body knowing that you helped another person. And the opportunities for young people to experience those feelings? Priceless.

I am sure many already know, as bad news travels fast these days, that President Trump’s latest in his seemingly never ending changes is a list of programs to cut in order to lessen domestic spending. Of the valuable programs on the list was the Corporation for National and Community Service, which is the Federal Agency in charge of AmeriCorps.

I cannot help but see the irony. The irony in taking money from peaceful initiatives fighting the good fight here on American soil and appropriating it for military expansion. I would rather spend money equipping young people with gardening tools than with guns.

Service is service. It is noble and selfless no matter what equipment you carry or whether your life is on the line or not. As a country, if we truly want to be "great again" then we have to understand that one form of service is not more crucial than another.

It is irresponsible to take money from AmeriCorps programs to expand the military. You are essentially saying to other countries and the citizens of this one that taking care of our people and conserving our land’s resources is secondary to the need to defend ourselves and strengthen our borders.

I have wondered what Trump meant by, “Make America great again”. Like any country we have a history of taking what is not ours and oppressing groups of people. What comes to mind when I hear the word “great” is the Greatest Generation. The generation before my parents, the generation that lived, and didn’t live, through World War II. A generation of Rosie the Riveters and soldiers.

Women were in the States rolling up their sleeves and doing what so many thought was impossible. They were building and flying planes, manufacturing bombs, sewing uniforms and whatever they needed to in order help in the war effort. The WWII generation was great because everyone was involved in the cause, the cause of making this country great.

While the Greatest Generation were involved in a war effort, bringing victory to the United States, I believe that if everyone of this generation is to be involved again, we can be a generation greater. Today the war effort is different, it is overseas and it is here at home. We are in combat, but we also have wars on climate change, poverty and illiteracy. And who do we want fighting those battles? Young people. And how can they do that? Programs like AmeriCorps.

These young people, who are a part of the largest demographic this country has, are willing and motivated to dedicate not only their time, but their lives to the betterment of this country. They are registering survivors of natural disasters, building houses, planting trees and working hard at the jobs that no one else wants to do. These are able and willing young people and they may not be out there toting guns, but they’re right here at home making a difference, peacefully.

So, my question has been and will continue to be: aren’t young people worth the investment? Especially young people willing to serve their country right here, in an equally selfless way?

Invest in strengthening national and community service. Invest in the future of this country. Invest in the United States. Let’s set the bar higher and surpass the Greatest Generation.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.bostoncares.org/vistaopenings

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The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.

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Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, told a judge that Trump explicitly instructed him to break campaign-finance laws by paying two women not to publicly disclose the affairs they had with Trump. Those two women are believed to be Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornstar. Trump had an affair with both while married to his current wife, Melania.

And then to no surprise, Fox News pundits spun this in the only way they know how. Sara Carter on Hannity said that the FBI and the Department of Justice are colluding as if it's some sort of deep-state conspiracy. Does someone want to tell her that the FBI is literally a part of the DOJ?

The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

For the better part of a year I have been asking myself what is the breaking point with Republicans and Trump. It does not seem like there is one, so for the time being we're stuck with a president who paid off two women he had an affair with in an attempt to influence a United States election.

Imagine for a second that any past president had done even a fraction of what Trump has.

Barack Obama got eviscerated for wearing a tan suit. If he had affairs with multiple women, then Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would be preparing to burn him at the stake. If they won't, then Trump's enthusiastic would be more than happy to do so.

For too long we've been saying that Trump is heading down a road similar to Nixon, but it's evident now that we're way past that point. Donald Trump now has incriminating evidence against him to prove he's a criminal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just getting started.

Will Trump soften the blow and resign in disgrace before impeachment like Nixon did? Knowing his fragile ego, there's honestly no telling what he'll do. But it's high time Trump leaves an office he never should have entered in the first place.

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For Those Of You Boycotting Nike, Here Are 10 Times You Need To Just Stop It

There's no need to burn your gear.

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As everyone knows, Nike created an ad that included Colin Kaepernick and the white supremacists went wild. They began burning their Nike gear, and no longer want to support the brand.

1. Why? 

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There are two reasons why I think you are boycotting Nike and that is because either you are assuming the race of Colin Kaepernick or you are mad because he kneeled during the National Anthem. Either way, you have the right to boycott whatever you want. Boycotting is a great way to protest. However, you're going about it all wrong

2. Why are you mad? 

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If you're assuming this man's ethnicity, you are assuming. Check your facts, Kaepernick is American. If you are mad because he kneeled during the National Anthem, I do not understand why that is even an issue. Just like you are protesting Nike, the NFL players were protesting police brutality. So, really, your thinking is on the same level. People who protest want something to be corrected. What exactly do you want to be corrected?

3. Nike knew what they were doing

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Of course Nike knows what they're doing! Nike has been successful for years and they aren't going to stop because they aren't going to conform to whatever the majority wants, especially if they don't stand for it. Nike is a business, they have marketing strategies, and believe it or not, they are most likely going to blow up. If not, they'll do just fine. Nike employees many athletes and owns multiple other companies. The reality of it is, if you don't like what Nike stands for, they don't want your business and they don't care if you're gone.

4. Let’s be honest

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The majority of people burning or mutilating their Nike gear are people who splurge on such items when they've saved up enough money to buy something nice. You tore up one pair of socks? You burned one pair of shoes? Honestly, it's your own money wasted.

5. You look like a buffoon

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Seriously, the internet is making fun of you. You are burning your own clothes. Sure, be mad at the brand, boycott it if you must. But, really, Nike already has your money. It is a business, not a person, they don't care whether you burn their clothing articles because you already bought it. What are you going to do? Buy more socks to cut or keep buying the same socks you normally wear? I think the joke is on you. You have fewer clothes and less money.

6. It’s an article of clothing

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You're not bothering Nike but Nike is bothering you. Some people would be thrilled just to have a cool shirt or nice pair of shoes and would gladly take that swoosh off your hands. But you're too busy caught up in your own fury to even think of the people less fortunate than you, right? Clothes that are in good shape are taken so much for granted. Typically when people are done with their clothes they donate them to Goodwill…

7. Or the army

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Which seems to be one of the topics that some are so angry about. You talk about respecting the troops but don't think to donate an article of clothing that someone would not only be excited to have, but possibly need. Instead, you destroy it and hope someone's feelings get hurt. Keep in mind, businesses don't have feelings, people do.

8. If someone who cannot afford clothing saw you destroying it

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They would be distraught. Some people rely on thrift shops or donations just to live in habitable conditions. No one cares who you boycott or for what, but destroying a good pair of shoes, socks or even clothes for the sake of protesting is kind of dumb. Just donate whatever it is and don't buy from the company.

9. It’s not hard to be a good person and protest

Seriously, just donate your clothes. Figure out exactly what it is that you're mad about and decide whether it's worth the trouble. Making it public that you're angry about a small thing results in more people making fun of you and supporting where you lack; it doesn't matter whether you're buying from the company or not.

10. There’s a reason why people are making fun of you for burning your clothes

https://www.instagram.com/p/BnX27tmD2by/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

It's because everyone else sees that this issue should not be an issue. People have their clothes and wear them, whether the brand is getting a bad rap or not. You're mad at Nike for creating a commercial with someone they have been sponsoring for years who kneeled during the national Anthem to protest the victims of police brutality. It was a one time thing, and like you, they were protesting.

11. If you can be mad at that, you can be mad at things that matter

If you can spend all this energy on one small thing, you can protest things that actually matter, police brutality, for example. It's okay not to like something, but this isn't an issue. Michigan still doesn't have clean water, many people need affordable healthcare, there are people who live on the streets and need food, and global warming is a serious problem. There are way bigger issues than someone kneeling during the National Anthem. So, how will you help the world?

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