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A Day of Service with AmeriCorps: Honoring 9/11 Through Our Cleanup Initiative

A Day of Service with AmeriCorps: Honoring 9/11 Through Our Cleanup Initiative

September 15, 2023

Every year, on the solemn anniversary of September 11th, our dedicated AmeriCorps members honor the memory of those lost and the heroism of the first responders by conducting a Day of Service cleanup initiative across Paterson. The events of September 11th awakened a sense of unity and compassion within our communities, and we take pride in upholding that legacy of community service.

AmeriCorps–our first program–remains the bloodline of NJCDC. Today–nearly thirty years later–it continues to be an indispensable part of NJCDC's mission, committed to removing all barriers to academic achievement by transforming neighborhood schools into full-service community schools. To accomplish this goal, AmeriCorps enlists promising college graduates to provide comprehensive services at six neighborhood schools and youth centers. They also plan and implement after-school programming; conduct parent engagement and youth development workshops; lead community service projects, including food, clothing, and toy drives; and assist with community cleanups and other neighborhood revitalization projects, including the 9/11 Day of Service.

Reflecting on the significance of these efforts, our AmeriCorps Program Director Gabrielle Foushee reflected, "We understand that the smallest act of service is a way to honor those we lost.

Indeed, the September 11th Day of Service allows our AmeriCorps members to embody the founding principles of AmeriCorps. This year's efforts included cleaning at John F. Kennedy High School, West Side Park, the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, and numerous local streets. AmeriCorps specifically chose these locations, which are integral to the daily lives of many Patersonians, to ensure a tangible impact is felt by residents and visitors of all ages during their day-to-day routines.

As an organization, we continually expand our team to better serve our community's needs. Just last week, on September 7th, we welcomed 18 new AmeriCorps members into our ranks! During their orientation, the incoming members had the opportunity to listen to a panel of veteran AmeriCorps members who shared their stories and offered valuable advice.

The new members will provide support to the Paterson community moving forward, including offering mentoring and tutoring services for students at five different schools and the Great Falls Youth Center. Their assistance was indispensable on this Day of Service, and we applaud them for their commendable efforts. At the end of the day, it was a fulfilling experience for our AmeriCorps members to step back and witness the positive change they brought about.

AmeriCorps is on a path of growth, and we enthusiastically welcome anyone dedicated to serving their local communities to apply to join our team! Currently, AmeriCorps has eight open spots for members, and we would love to hear from any interested individuals. Please click here to find out more about these opportunities and see how you can become an active player in making a difference in Paterson!

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