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City Year co-founder promotes service

Submitted by Mark Stanley on November 5, 2010 – 9:09 amNo Comment

Alan Khazei claims when a reporter asked former President Harry Truman, “What will you do now that you are leaving the world’s highest office?” Truman replied, “I’m not leaving the highest office. I am assuming the highest office as citizen.”

Khazei, the co-founder of City Year, addressed a group, mostly uniformed members of City Year, during a presentation at the Clinton School of Public Service.

Khazei gave a brief history of City Year, a public service organization created in 1998. City Year is noted for its prominent program, the City Year Youth Service Corps, which is a global program that engages young people ages 17-24 for a year of full-time community service, leadership development and civic engagement.

Khazei claims there is a gap between America’s ideas and its policies. This gap can be filled by individual citizens teaming up as partners to make a difference. He quoted former President Clinton, who said, “There isn’t a problem in America that is not being solved by somebody, somewhere in the country.” The key to action is to tap into these resources at an individual level, building coalitions and grassroots networks, according to Khazei.

He explained the journey to a more perfect country, by forming coalitions and grassroots networks, will help people reclaim a role in society, reclaim the role of citizenship and reclaim our sense of unity – “We the people.”

City Year’s goal is to “inspire others, share the power of service and promote the value that each of us can make a difference.” One of City Year’s most notable events, the Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day, is held annually across the nation. The event helps communities across the country to complete critical projects and revitalize communities.

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