More and more young people across the country are saying "yes" to service, and for those fortunate enough to serve, their work is paying off. However, there are not enough opportunities for most young people to turn their ideals into action.
I cannot yet tell what is more alarming. The fact that the architects of this National Service strategy have such a limited view of the role that faith communities have played and still play or that it appears that religious leaders have little idea that this service work is going on.
To move towards high impact, cost-effective student support strategies, we need to adopt evidence-based, targeted student supports and deploy nonprofit organizations to leverage community volunteers and national service to address this challenge.
Social entrepreneurs are holistic thinkers who want to dissolve the walls that have traditionally separated government, business and the nonprofit sector. They believe an integrated approach -- which is core to social entrepreneurial methodology -- has the best chance of success.
Like military service, civilian service boosts pride among those who serve and can help make people feel a profound sense of connection to their country. It also provides countless benefits for communities and their residents.
There are smart investments the federal government can make that will create jobs, guarantee a return on taxpayer investment and power organizations that find cost effective approaches to social challenges. National service is one of them.
City Year is not about a magic potion to cure all of our students' problems in a night. Instead it is about showing up everyday to the schools, believing in our students and working tirelessly to help them succeed.