NEW ORLEANS, LA–Today, as part of the annual Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service, Mayor Mitch Landrieu highlighted the positive impact of local AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members, and thanked all who have dedicated their time, energy and talent to serving others in the community.
Mayor Landrieu also recognized three national service participants for the time, energy and generous contributions they have provided to the community as dedicated members of the local AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs. Each recipient was presented with the first-annual Joseph Massenburg Memorial Award for Excellence in National Service. The award is for participants of AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps), AmeriCorps VISTA, and Senior Corps who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to service in the New Orleans community. The memorial award is in honor of Joseph Massenburg, the 18-year old AmeriCorps NCCC member who was slain while serving in New Orleans last year.
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“Today we remember the legacy of Joseph Massenburg and all that he did in his time with us in New Orleans. His memory will carry on as individuals, inspired by his example, follow in his footsteps and work together to change our community for the best, one day at a time,” Mayor Landrieu said.
Joseph Massenburg Memorial Award for Excellence in National Service recipients:
Violet Obioha is an AmeriCorps members serving with local nonprofit City Year New Orleans. Violet is a native New Orleanian and spends each day assisting 3rd grade students at Arthur Ashe Charter School to improve their math and literacy skills.
Frank Cannon, Jr. joined the Seniors Corps program in August 2001 and is one of the longest serving Senior Companion Program volunteers. Mr. Cannon work with adults who need assistance with daily tasks in order to continue to live independently.
Jakita Allen is an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving at Tulane University’s Center for Public Service. Jakita’s commitment to service dates back to 2001 when she first served as AmeriCorps NCCC member following 9/11 and again as an AmeriCorps member in 2008 working to combat adult literacy.
Mayor Landrieu is among more than 1,500 mayors across the country participating in the day of recognition, an initiative led by U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
Mayor Landrieu invited national service participants from a variety of organizations and programs to City Hall to recognize their contributions. The Mayor also presented a proclamation declaring April 1st National Service Recognition Day to Vickie Schenk, acting state program director of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
“I am proud to work with Mayor Landrieu to strengthen New Orleans through national service,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. “Mayors are leaders who get things done. They know firsthand the value of national service in tackling city problems. I commend Mayor Landrieu for recognizing the value of national service in making our cities better places to live. ”
As the federal agency for service and volunteering, CNCS annually engages more than four million citizens in service at more than 70,000 sites across the country through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other programs. There are currently more than 1,200 AmeriCorps members serving in New Orleans.
In addition to CNCS, representatives and national service participants from the following organizations and programs were recognized by Mayor Landrieu today: Tulane Center for Public Service, New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, City Year New Orleans, Green Light New Orleans, Foster Grandparents Program, Rebuilding Together New Orleans, St. Bernard Project, Youth Rebuilding New Orleans, Communities in Schools, Senior Companion Program, RSVP and Teach For America.