AUGUSTA — Maine’s newest AmeriCorps members, hailing from the state and across the country, gathered virtually Nov. 15 to participate in the 27th annual Maine AmeriCorps Induction Ceremony.

The ceremony has been archived on the Volunteer Maine YouTube channel for those who could not view it live: youtu.be/o4l_xcvEw08.

Maine Supreme Court Associate Justice Andrew Mead presided over the ceremony and reading of the AmeriCorps Pledge, which new members recite to affirm their commitment to serving Maine communities.

“The AmeriCorps program is one of the best and clearest examples of what good people can do to bring forth the best of the spirit of the community for the common good,” said Justice Mead to the more than 40 AmeriCorps members who were able to attend the afternoon ceremony, according to a news release from the organization.

AmeriCorps members serve in Maine to gain valuable skills while supporting community organizations in the areas of early childhood education and development, mentorship, environmental conservation, green energy education, expanding access to outdoor recreation, improving the lives of Maine’s aging population, and community resilience, among others. Member benefits include a living allowance and a post-service education award.

“You are catalysts for positive chance,” said Justice Mead. “Your good works are like seeds that take root and grow and spread and produce new growth themselves.”

The ceremony, hosted by Volunteer Maine Commission Chair Jenni Tilton-Flood, also featured remarks by a group of AmeriCorps alumni. Each speaker touched on the positive impact AmeriCorps service has on the self and the community.

The alumni group was made up of Margaret Brownlee, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Maine Department of Education; Carolyn Brady, a graduate student at Georgetown University, member of Bowdoin College’s class of 2019, and Miss Maine 2019-2020; and Clara McCool, regional broadband associate with the Greater Portland Council of Governments and the 2020 Governor’s Awards for Service and Volunteerism Outstanding National Service Volunteer.

The new class of AmeriCorps members also participated in an activity titled “Why I serve.” Prior to the event, each new member was asked to write a sentence or statement that sums up their decision to serve Maine communities. The group was then prompted to display their “Why I Serve” statement for a group photo.

For more information, visit volunteermaine.gov.

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