Philadelphia, PA – Mayor Michael A. Nutter was joined by hundreds of mayors across the country in celebrating the first annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, an initiative he announced during his presidential address at the 81st convening of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.
“As President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, I work with mayors from both sides of the aisle to find practical solutions to the problems we face in our cities,” said Mayor Nutter. “My colleagues and I agree that there are few resources more cost effective than America’s national service programs. AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers are central to the fabric of Philadelphia. Day after day, they roll up their sleeves and get to work addressing education, food insecurity, community revitalization and more. Simply put, in these challenging economic times, their service is essential to the current and future success of our city and our nation.”
The Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service was initiated by Mayor Nutter in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Cities of Service, the National League of Cities, and other organizations. Mayor Nutter was instrumental in recruiting a bipartisan group of 832 mayors in all 50 states—including six in Pennsylvania—to participate in this first-ever Day of Recognition. Together, these mayors represent nearly 100 million citizens.
“It is a testament to the effectiveness of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs that nearly one-third of Americans will have their mayor participating in this first-ever Day of Recognition,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “I want to thank Mayor Nutter and his colleagues, including Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, Arizona, for their amazing leadership in creating what we hope will be a long, bipartisan tradition of recognizing the positive, cost-effective contributions of AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers in cities large and small across our great country.”
During the ceremony, Mayor Nutter announced the winners of the first annual City of Philadelphia ~ Mayor’s Award for Distinguished National Service. The Mayor created this award to shine the spotlight on outstanding individuals who are currently serving among the nearly 3,000 AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers across the City. In addition, he wanted to recognize National Service alumni whose continued commitment to service is having a significant positive impact on the city.
The Mayor’s Award for Distinguished Senior Corps Service went to Ms. Rosa Thomas. A part of the Foster Grandparents Program since 2004, Ms. Thomas volunteers five days a week at the Reynolds Elementary School Head Start Program where she works one-on-one with children identified as needing extra guidance and support.
The Mayor’s Award for Distinguished AmeriCorps Service went to Ms. Dominique Brown-Rasley, a member serving at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. As a child, Ms. Brown-Rasley spent a number of years in the foster care system and left high school before earning her degree. She came to YouthBuild in August of last year to chart a new future for herself. Today, Ms. Brown-Rasley is as dedicated to her academic pursuits as she is to using life’s lessons to help others overcome challenging obstacles.
Finally, the Mayor chose to honor two National Service alumni for their distinguished contributions to the City of Philadelphia. The first, recent City Year Greater Philadelphia alumni Alexander Peay, was selected for his dedication in founding ‘Rising Sons,’ a volunteer-powered non-profit that engages young men in helping Philadelphia high school students find their path to success by giving back to their communities. The second, Wyneshia Foxworth, is a seasoned national service alumnus who most recently served as Executive Director of City Year Greater Philadelphia before transitioning to Chief Operating Officer of Communities in Schools. While on staff at City Year, Ms. Foxworth briefly left Philadelphia to be the first City Year staff member on the ground after Hurricane Katrina. There, she was instrumental in establishing City Year New Orleans within 100 days of the storm’s landing.
For more information, and to view a list of Outstanding Nominees in each category, please visit www.NationalServicePHL.com.