Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 108 Part 6.djvu/995

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PROCLAMATION 6674—APR. 19, 1994 108 STAT. 5563 and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighteenth. WILLIAM J. CLINTON Proclamation 6674 of April 19, 1994 National Youth Service Day, 1994 and 1995 By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation On September 21, 1993, I had the great pleasure of signing into law a new national service program, using the same pen that John F. Kennedy used to create the Peace Corps. That event was particularly meaningful to me because so many of my own dreams about national service began when President Kennedy challenged my generation to ask what we could do for our country—and thousands responded as Peace Corps volunteers. Thirty years later, a new generation of young Americans is not waiting to be asked. All along the presidential campaign trail, young people told me again and again what they wanted most—the opportunity to make a difference. So we created AmeriCorps, a new national service program. Now, the real work of rebuilding America must begin. This year, 20,000 yoimg AmeriCorps members will provide hands-on community-based service to meet our Nation's urgent needs—in education, in public safety, in health care reform, and in the environment. In exchange for a commitment to service, AmeriCorps members will receive many benefits. They will get education awards to help them pay off student loans and finance further education. They will have an experience that will change their lives forever. But the most important benefit of national service will be seen in the accomplishments of the participants in the communities they serve. With young people at the vanguard, AmeriCorps can help to bring the American people back together with a sense of working toward a common purpose. I know that it can be done. Last summer, we launched a pilot service program to see if AmeriCorps could really work to strengthen communities. As a result of our Summer of Service program, 87 participants in Texas helped to immunize over 100,000 children. Fifty participants in New York City operated summer day school programs at the Harlem Freedom Schools for 643 at-risk youths. And 74 participants through Boston's City Year program provided educational, health, and environmental services that reached more than 14,200 individuals. If national service participants can have that kind of impact in 8 weeks, just imagine what they can accomplish in a year—or two—of service to their communities. In the youth of America hes our hope for the futvire. Throughout our history, our young men and women have challenged us to reach for goals that seemed beyond our grasp, to reach for an understanding between all people of good will.