'Summer of Service' comes to Baltimore City's was among 12 proposals to win Clinton initiative

May 07, 1993|By Tom Bowman | Tom Bowman,Staff Writer

Baltimore was chosen yesterday as one of 12 cities and states to participate in the "Summer of Service," one of President Clinton's initiatives to hire young men and women to work on education, health and conservation projects.

Seventy-five young adults -- including high school students from the Baltimore area and college students statewide -- will be chosen for the seven-week program. They will receive minimum wage, $4.25 per hour, plus $1,000 toward their education.

More than 430 proposals from across the country were received by the federal Commission on National and Community Service, which announced the selections yesterday in Washington.

An estimated 1,500 young people nationwide will take part in the $50 million federal initiative, with Baltimore's effort costing $500,000.

"This is very exciting. This is a great opportunity for young people to try and make changes in the community," said Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, director of the Maryland Student Service Alliance, one of three organizations that will be involved in Baltimore's "Summer of Service."

The local program will be open to young people aged 17 to 25, who will work from 30 to 40 hours a week in the city as teachers' assistants, conservationists, counselors and coaches.

The 75 participants also will oversee high school students who volunteer to work with disadvantaged children.

Through its various components, the program is expected to reach more than 2,000 city children.

Organizers said that in selecting from the applications -- which are due over the next two weeks -- they will look for diversity in ethnicity, economic background and education.

The University of Maryland at College Park developed the local proposal and is helping to run the program.

Besides the Maryland Student Service Alliance, the other participant is Civic Works, a Baltimore-based youth service corps.

The federal initiative represents President Clinton's "call to the younger generation," said Georgia Sorenson, director of the Center for Political Leadership and Participation at College Park, who helped write the Maryland proposal. "This is part of leadership development -- getting involved in the community," she said.

"Summer of Service" is being touted by Clinton administration officials as a trial run for a more ambitious National Service program outlined by the president at Rutgers University in March.

Legislation authorizing that program, in which participants could work for as long as two years to earn money to help pay for college, was introduced yesterday in Congress.

Eli Segal, director of the White House Office of National Service, said in an interview yesterday that the summer program "is a demonstration to the U.S. Congress that national service can work."

Mr. Segal predicted that the summer program also would show taxpayers that national service was a "cost-effective" way of meeting community needs.

The Clinton administration hopes its National Service program will begin next year and reach 25,000 students at a cost of $400 million.

By 1997, the administration hopes the funding will increase to $1.5 billion and support 150,000 students performing community service in exchange for stipends and educational benefits.

Other cities selected yesterday for the Summer Service program include Atlanta; Boston; Los Angeles; Oakland, Calif.; New Orleans; Newark, N.J.; New York; Philadelphia; and Red Lake, Minn. Proposals from the states of Delaware and Ohio also were chosen.

BALTIMORE'S 'SUMMER OF SERVICE' PROGRAM

The "Summer of Service" program is open to high school students from the Baltimore-metropolitan area, including Baltimore City and Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Howard, Harford and Carroll counties. College students who either study or live in Maryland can apply. University of Maryland students are expected to submit their applications by Monday; the deadlines for others are listed below. The three projects that comprise Baltimore's "Summer of Service" are:

Civic Works Summer of Service -- 51 participants. Four crews of 17- to 21-year-olds will serve as teachers' aides at Herring Run Middle School, health outreach assistants with the Baltimore City Department of Health, environmental conservationists and instructors with Save our Streams, and counselors/coaches at the Madison Recreation Center. Corps members who do not have a high school diploma will be required to attend GED classes offered by Civil Works. Applications -- due May 19 -- are available by calling 366-8533. The program runs from June 17 to Aug. 20.

Maryland Student Service Alliance Summer Corps 1993 -- 20 participants. The team leaders aged 17-25 will supervise 200 middle and high school students who volunteer to work with at-risk children at community-based centers in Baltimore. The team leaders will guide students as they help provide vaccinations, improve children's reading, writing and math skills and coach sports. The team leaders will live together at the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore. For team leader and corps members applications, call 333-2427. They are due May 17. The program runs from June 28 to Aug. 13.

Team Maryland -- Four participants. Four student-athletes from the University of Maryland College Park will do outreach to assist both Civic Works and the MSSA Summer Corps in their education and health work. They also will live at the College of Notre Dame. Applications, due Monday, are available by calling (301) 405-5751.

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