National AIDS Fund Expands AmeriCorps Program


WASHINGTON, D.C.  June 14, 2010 -- The National AIDS Fund's 15-year-old AmeriCorps program, a public-private partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), MetLife Foundation and Roche, will add Louisiana to its roster of AmeriCorps sites for the 2010-2011 service year. Increased support from CNCS enables Louisiana to join NAF AmeriCorps sites in Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Indianapolis IN; Durham, NC; Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM; Tulsa, OK;  and Washington, D.C.  The number of CNCS-supported NAF AmeriCorps members will increase from 49 to 54.

"Thanks to the increased support of CNCS for this important  public-private partnership, we can continue to cultivate the next generation of HIV/AIDS leaders in our established AmeriCorps sites, while expanding our program to another site in the U.S. Southern region, where the impact of HIV/AIDS continues to increase," said NAF President and CEO Kandy Ferree.

Founded in 1994, AmeriCorps is a network of three programs operated by CNCS-AmeriCorps*State and National, AmeriCorps*VISTA, and AmeriCorps*National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC)-that each year support the engagement of nearly 75,000 Americans in service to meet critical needs in education, the environment, public safety, homeland security, and other service areas.

The NAF AmeriCorps program was one of the very first AmeriCorps programs, and the first to focus exclusively on HIV/AIDS.  To date, more than 550 NAF AmeriCorps members have provided HIV testing, prevention and quality of life services to tens of thousands of individuals and families.  Recruitment for the 2010-2011 service year of the NAF AmeriCorps program is at an all-time high, with more than 1000 applications received for the 54 available positions.

According to a study recently commissioned by National AIDS Fund , a large majority (84%) of NAF AmeriCorps alumni are active and engaged in a variety of service and volunteerism and often, in more than one type of service. Of those continuing to volunteer, 58% participate in HIV/AIDS specific activities and 85% participate in healthcare/social justice causes. In addition, the experience of the program influenced alumni in terms of their current jobs, most frequent of which are in HIV/AIDS, public health, and health care.

"NAF has more than two decades of experience directing financial and human resources to our most vulnerable populations in communities across the country hardest hit by the HIV epidemic," said Ferree. "Our long-running, ground-breaking AmeriCorps program enhances the capacity of community-based organizations to respond to the disease on the frontlines, while developing new HIV leadership skills and abilities in our talented and dedicated AmeriCorps members.  We know from our more than 15 years as part of this program that these skills and abilities are employed long beyond their AmeriCorps experience."