Harvard Political Review: "What You Can Do For You Country"
"Service Year Alliance, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., is leading the charge for a common service year. Its expansion campaign is set to launch in 2019. Yasmeen Shaheen McConnell, managing director of strategic engagement for Service Year Alliance, told the HPR that the campaign’s focus is to “grow awareness [through] influencers,” to build “demand at a local level,” and to “pass legislation and secure funding.
The legislation, which McConnell hopes will reach Congress in 2020, would propose significantly more funding for national service positions. It would not, however, immediately provide enough funding for every 22-year-old to complete that year of service. Yasmeen described what she sees as a “national moment” in which a divided nation might be brought together by a campaign like this one. To encourage widespread participation, Yasmeen said that Service Year Alliance is focused on “growing these opportunities for all Americans [so that] we are not reinforcing structural inequities” and “making sure that people can earn benefits [through service] that allow them to access the American Dream."