Volunteering and the Federal Government Serve America Act

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2010

Publication Title

Career Planning and Adult Development Journal


Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009, Serve America Act, Volunteerism, students, disadvantaged students


The Serve America Act is this decade's version of legislating volunteering. The authors highlight the main points of the Act, as well as offer their conclusions of its feasibility. The implementation of the Act is through the Corporation for National and Community Service under the direction of a CEO appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate [42 U.S.C. § 12651 c(a)]. This CEO has the broad authority to prescribe such rules and regulations as are necessary or appropriate to carry out the national service laws [42 U.S.C. § 12651 c(c)]. The funding of grants is based on a shared participation among federal, state, and local contributions. The Act is a jumble of good intentions. While its purpose of assisting disadvantaged students is a noble one, nothing in the Act assures that the proposed incentives for voluntarism will become systemic nor that the changes effected will be systematic.



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