11/11/2009
Contact Info: 

Colleen Wilber, America’s Promise Alliance
(202) 657-0647, colleenw@americaspromise.org  

(WASHINGTON, DC)—America’s Promise Alliance (the Alliance) today announced that its Chair Alma J. Powell has been honored with the first-ever ServiceNation Award for Excellence in Military and Civilian Service. The annual award honors individuals and organizations that embody the spirit of service and sacrifice that is at the heart of our nation and who have made remarkable contributions on both sides of the civilian-military service aisle.

Mrs. Powell was formally presented with the award this afternoon at a ceremony that included First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium.  Also present at the ceremony were active and retired members of the United States military, MTV News Correspondent Sway Calloway, Nicola Goren, acting CEO for the Corporation for National and Community Service and hundreds of other volunteers who participated in a service event earlier that day. The service event, preparing care packages for military families, was held in partnership with the military family organization Blue Star Families and included volunteers from the Alliance.

“Service is the selfless recognition that all of us have a role to play in making our communities great. It is a value that was instilled in me at a young age and it is at the heart of everything we do at the Alliance,” said Alma J. Powell, chair, America’s Promise Alliance. “I am honored to receive this award and I share it with the countless Americans who everyday step forward to help make life better for those around them, especially our children and youth who are this nation’s greatest treasure.”

The ceremony also marked the launch of ServiceNation’s new MISSION SERVE: Forging a Continuum of Service, a network of 36 initiatives bringing together civilian and military service organizations to meet the critical needs of our nation, troops, military families, and veterans. The Alliance and its partner the Military Child Education Coalition were recognized during the event for our partnership as part of this work on the Gallup Student Poll, a national survey that measures the hope, engagement and well-being of young people. Through this partnership, thousands of youth from military families were able to participate in the poll and share their views and feelings. Finally, during the ceremony, findings from a new report on civilian and military service from Civic Enterprises titled “All Volunteer Force: From Military to Civilian Service” were unveiled.  

Mrs. Powell has been chair of the Alliance since 2004 and has spent the last four decades advocating for the needs of young people and encouraging Americans at home and abroad to engage in volunteer service. She also chairs the advisory board for the Pew Center for Civic Change, and from 1989 to 2000 served as the chairman of the National Council of the Best Friends Foundation. During her husband’s illustrious military and public service career, Mrs. Powell served as the Army liaison to the National Red Cross as part of a team of volunteer consultants and also as the Advisor to the Red Cross of the Military District of Washington. Most recently, during her husband’s tenure as the 65th Secretary of State, Mrs. Powell served as the honorary president of the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide and sat on the advisory board of the Hospitality and Information Service and was an honorary member of the Department of State Fine Arts Committee. She is the author of two children’s books, My Little Wagon and America’s Promise, which were published in 2003.

To learn more about ServiceNation’s MISSION SERVE initiative, visit: www.servicenation.org/missionserve.  

To learn more about the report “All Volunteer Force: From Military to Civilian Service: visit: www.civicenterprises.net.

###

About America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s largest partnership organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth. Through the collective power of our partner network, we raise awareness, support communities and engage in nonpartisan advocacy to ensure that young people receive more of the fundamental resources they need to graduate high school prepared for college, work and life.  Building on the legacy of our Founding Chairman General Colin Powell, the Alliance believes the success of our young people is grounded in the Five Promises—caring adults; safe places; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others.  For more information about America’s Promise Alliance, visit www.americaspromise.org.