Posted 04/21/2009 - 10:54:56am by Terry Nagel
"We need your service right now, at this moment in history. I’m asking you to stand up and play your part. I’m asking you to help change history’s course, put your shoulder up against the wheel. If you do, I promise you your life will be richer, our country will be stronger, and someday, years from now, you may remember it as the moment when your own story and the American story converged, when they came together, and we met the challenges of our new century.
--President Barack Obama, April 21, 2009
Today is a landmark day for encore careers, with President Obama’s signing of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which creates Encore Fellowships in all 50 states.
He gave an inspiring speech in which he challenged Americans to answer the call to service, saying, "A week from tomorrow marks the 100th day of my administration. In those next eight days, I ask every American to make an enduring commitment to serving your community and your country in whatever way you can."
Encore.org members from 47 states and two U.S. territories overwhelmingly supported this legislation through a petition campaign that generated more than 7,500 signatures. Civic Ventures is presenting the petition to the administration today.
The Serve America Act creates 10 Encore Fellowships in each state – one-year leadership and management positions that help individuals over age 55 transition to nonprofit or public sector careers in areas of “national need,” such as education, health care, energy, the environment and poverty.
Although applications for Encore Fellowships won’t be available before 2010, we’re already hearing from lots of members who are interested in them. You can read all about them, and about other transition programs, on our new Encore Fellowships page.
The Fellowships were inspired by the Silicon Valley Encore Initiative, a pilot program sponsored by Civic Ventures that is tracking the progress of 10 Encore Fellows in Northern California.
Here are links to other news and views about the growing enthusiasm for encore careers:
- Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, reflects on the tidal wave of talent that Encore Fellowships may unleash in “A New Wave of Service.”
- John Gomperts, president of Civic Ventures, writes, “Internships aren’t just for kids anymore,” in a column reflecting on the Encore Fellowships created by the Serve America Act.
- Read what others are saying about the Serve America Act in “Encore Careers for America.”
- Visit Encore.org’s new Encore Fellowships page to learn more about this new opportunity for boomers.
- Read the Civic Ventures press release about the historic signing of the Serve America Act.
- Learn about provisions in the Serve America Act that benefit Americans age 55 and over.