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AmeriCorps to distribute $3.6M grant for three Hawaii nonprofits

Three Hawaii nonprofits will benefit from a $3.6 million AmeriCorps grant this year, the Corporation for National and Community Service announced Wednesday.

Approximately $2 million will be distributed to local nonprofits and $1.5 million will be distributed in the form of educational scholarships for AmeriCorps members, they said. An additional $600,000 in from the corporation will be distributed by the state to other nonprofits throughout the Islands.

Kupu Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps will receive approximately $1.2 million in support for AmeriCorps members involved with in Kupu’s environmental stewardship programs for young adults.

Roughly $145,000 in AmeriCorps grants will support 18 volunteers, or “justice navigators” for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. The nonprofit’s Project Kaulike supports low- and moderate-income families and low-income veterans and their families as they navigate Hawaii’s civil justice system.

Teach for America’s Hawaii chapter will receive $133,000, allowing 166 Americorps members to serve as teachers at low-income schools. Last year, 185 corps members taught in 56 schools across Oahu and the Big Island. College graduates are recruited to teach for two years in under-resourced schools, and nearly 25 percent of TFA corps members are Native Hawaiian or kamaaina, according to the nonprofit.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, praised the lasting impact AmeriCorps volunteers have had in the Islands.

“Many AmeriCorps Teach for America volunteers found it to be so inspirational they stayed on [as teachers],” she said. "I think this experience with the public school system stays with them and many of them will go on to be captains of the industry.”

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