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Exclusive Video: McChrystal on why the US needs national service

By We Are the Mighty TV

Retired Army general Stan McChrystal, who at the peak of his career led the war effort in Afghanistan, sits down for an exclusive interview with WATM’s editor-in-chief Ward Carroll to talk  about why America needs a national service effort and how it would be instituted.


Would a Year of Voluntary Public Service Bring Out America's Best?

By Michael Friedman, Ph.D. | Huffington Post - March 12, 2015

A question we need to ask ourselves is: How do we support our young people so that they not only survive, but also thrive. The Aspen Institute's Franklin Project has an answer: Give every young person the opportunity to serve the country for a year. The goal is that a year of paid public service would become a "cultural expectation, common opportunity and civic rite of passage for every young American."


Living as a Seed of Hope During and After AmeriCorps

By Sondra Samuels | Huffington Post - March 11, 2015

Today, the economic, educational, political and proximity gaps between the haves and have nots is widening. Far too many low-income people, who are often people of color, are isolated and disconnected from opportunities for upward mobility. Who is accountable for improving the lives of low-income people of color for whom the American dream has been denied?


A Rite of Passage

By William J. Byron | America Magazine – March 2, 2015 Issue

There is a link waiting to be forged between civilian national service and post-service higher educational benefits. If pursued, this link could help ease the burden of student debt and help students meet the out-of-reach prices of higher education.

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Doing Better: Momentum Builds for a national service corps

By Christopher Gergen and Stephen Martin | The News & Observer - February 28, 2015

As we emerge from a tough recession, there is a tremendous opportunity to come together to address some of our hardest challenges and re-invigorate our sense of civic responsibility and possibility.


Why Every American Should Pledge One Year of Public Service

By Jason Mangone | Task and Purpose – February 19, 2015

“Military veteran” is one of the few terms — and experiences — that binds people from different backgrounds who don’t know one another. The question, “Where’d you serve,” is a social level-setter, and points to something much deeper than being alumni of the same school or having grown up in the same hometown.

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Service Year at Home or Abroad

By Shirley Sagawa and John Bridgeland | Huffington Post – February 5, 2015

Every year, a quarter of a million U.S. students leave the comfort of their colleges to study abroad... We propose another powerful idea -- a "service year" at home or abroad -- that would not only widen students' horizons, but also give them the chance to connect their coursework to a cause.

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A million young people to empower America

By Stanley McChrystal | CNN - January 23, 2015

Duty. Honor. Country. These words were chiseled in granite above me, printed on the diploma in my hands and engraved on my class ring. I had just completed a four year regimen that had been honed over 174 years to be difficult.

The year was 1976. I had just graduated from West Point. In return for four years of education, I owed the nation at least five years of Army service.

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Gen. Stanley McChrystal Wants Every Young American To Serve Their Country — And He Has A Plan To Make It Happen

By Drake Baer | Business Insider – January 20, 2015

It all started with a question. 

In the summer of 2012, Gen. Stanley McChrystal was wrapping up an onstage conversation at the Aspen Ideas Festival conference. 

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A Service Year for the Nation's Young People Would Hasten King's Vision for America

By Michael Brown | Huffington Post - January 18, 2015

When Martin Luther King, Jr. Day approaches each year, I find myself moved, like so many others, by the widely shared speeches, insights and sermons that were at the heart of all that King accomplished, inspired and stood for -- his powerful commitment to social justice, his resonant vision of racial reconciliation, his insistence that America live up to its founding ideals and fundamentally address the twin scourges of racial discrimination and urban poverty. 

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Phila. gives AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alums preferential treatment in hiring

By Julia Terruso | Philly.com - January 14, 2015

If you're an AmeriCorps or Peace Corps alumnus, the City of Philadelphia is looking to hire you.

Starting this month, Philadelphia will award up to 5 points on its 100-point civil service exam for alumni of national service programs AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps.

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How can America Inspire the Slactivist Generation to action?

By Dana Milbank | The Washington Post | December 30, 2014

I wanted to do something for my country during the holidays, so I went to the movies.

I watched the Christmas Day opening of “The Interview,” to show North Korea that I wasn’t afraid of its threats to blow up theaters that screen the parody of Kim Jong Un. The $9.50 I paid in the name of patriotic pride bought me stadium seating, a preview of the coming feature “Hot Tub Time Machine 2,” and a feature film full of jokes about rectums, sex organs, ricin and the Supreme Leader defecating in his pants. Except for the Asian stereotypes, it was just my speed. Still, I wondered if there isn’t a better way to sacrifice for my country than paying to hear dong jokes.

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How Faith Communities Advance National Service

By Cat Cheney | NationSwell, December 18, 2014

The Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) is one of a range of voluntary service programs steeped in spirituality. In 1980, only nine volunteers were a part of this model of “a year of service, a lifetime of commitment.” Today, LVC volunteers are matched with 120 nonprofits in 13 cities across the United States.

As part of a series of Google Hangouts On Air featuring service opportunities, NationSwell hosted a live video Q&A with national program director Hierald Osorto, recruitment and outreach manager Elizabeth Flomo and LVC volunteer Drew Bongiovanni.

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The Washington Post: The Case for National Service

By David Ignatius | The Case for National Service - November 27, 2014

At Thanksgiving, Americans think about the spirit of community that animates the country at its best. But in a year characterized by so much political and racial discord, you have to wonder whether the communal quilt is fraying at the edges.

Here’s an idea for reweaving our country’s fabric through a program of national service. This proposal was outlined by two Americans with very different backgrounds: Tom Brokaw, the former NBC News anchor, and Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. They’re joined by dozens of other advocates in an initiative called the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute.

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Can National Service Save the Economy?

By Tae Yoo | Huffington Post - November 20, 2014

Last year at a conference on national service, I heard a young man named Johann Shockency speak. Johann said that as a child, he had one goal: to serve his country through the armed forces. But as a high school freshman, Johann was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease that made him both ineligible for the military and legally blind.

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How A National Service Year Can Repair America

By General Stan McChrystal | The Washington Post – November 14, 2014  

Citizenship is like a muscle that can atrophy from too little use; if we want to strengthen it, we need to exercise it. We need to support leaders who ask more of us and not those who simply promise us more. We need candidates who will cross the aisle in support of a big idea for renewed citizenship.

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A Call For Universal National Service This Veteran’s Day

MacKenzie Moritz and Jay Mangone | Pass the Chalk (Teach for America Blog) – November 12, 2014

One of the authors of this article is a Marine veteran; the other is a Teach For America alumnus. At first glance, the two of us have very little in common… And yet, we define ourselves by our common service, rather than by our comparatively petty differences. That’s because we both know what it means to devote ourselves to a higher cause; we both know what it is to get up early and struggle to make something work; we’re both ceaselessly nostalgic for that time when we had such a sense of purpose; and we both know the biggest secret of all: that service is a privilege, so to be thanked for it always seems silly, and often feels patronizing.

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A Common American Future

By Jack Gardner | Huffington Post – November 11, 2014  

There are a number of areas where we need to make long-term investments as a society. As we prioritize how we allocate resources, supporting a large scale national service program that provides a common experience and reinforces a sense of a common American future needs to be near the top of the list.

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Two Sides of the Same Coin

Chris Howard | Huffington Post – November 11, 2014

The concept of this non-military service initiative is simple yet compelling. The military has afforded millions of people across the US -- regardless of their family's net worth -- the opportunity to serve and to lead in our armed forces. As a veteran and son of a veteran, I am a beneficiary of this phenomenon, but like Stan McChrystal my epiphany about the virtues of national service more broadly defined occurred after I left active duty.

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Military and Civilian Service Make for a Powerful Combination

Robert L. Gordon III | Huffington Post – November 11, 2014

Moreover, our family's experience represents a new transformational service continuum, with Veterans and military family members transitioning out of military service to bring their talents, commitment, and sense of duty to the national civilian service sector to tackle some of the nation's most pressing problems.

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Why We Need to Promote National Service

Stephen Hadley | USA Today – November 11, 2014

America continues to have the strongest military in the world. And our nation will continue to honor our men and women in uniform. But if we are really serious about honoring their sacrifice, we will expand the concept of national service.

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The Aspen Institute: How to Celebrate Veterans Day (Especially if You Aren't a Veteran)

By Eric Greitens | The Aspen Institute - November 10, 2014

Post-9/11 veterans have served in a smaller military force and been asked to deploy multiple times, including in the Afghan war that is now the longest war in American history. However, as only 1% of the American population has served since 9/11, there is a gap between civilian and military worlds that has made the transition home particularly difficult for veterans.

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Service Before Self: Reflections on Military and Civilian Service

Rebecca Lange | Huffington Post – November 10, 2014

We're leaving hundreds of thousands of service-oriented Americans without an outlet to serve. This has to change. Not everyone can join the military. Not everyone isinterested in joining the military. But I firmly believe that every single American is programmed -- we are wired! -- to serve our nation in our own unique capacity.

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Veteran: A Word That Means a Lot; and a Lot More Than You Think

Kevin C. Miller | Huffington Post – November 10, 2014

As we reflect and honor those who have served on Veterans Day, let us support all of those who have served -- not a select few. One key way to do this is by connecting more Americans and veterans to national civilian service opportunities that enhance or introduce them to the power of civic engagement.

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How to Celebrate Veterans Day if You Aren’t a Veteran

Eric Greitens | Mic.com – November 10, 2014

If service is your calling, consider taking on a more extended service opportunity. Programs like AmeriCorps and Teach for America offer incredible opportunities to begin or continue a life of service. Gen. Stanley McChrystal is leading a new initiative called the Franklin Project that calls for all young Americans to have the opportunity to do a service year. Learn more about this effort.

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Q&A With Wes Moore, U.S. Army Combat Veteran

Mic.com - November 9, 2014

When talking about service, people automatically assume they're giving something up. They're automatically sacrificing. And to be fair, you do sacrifice to some extent when participating in service. But you also gain so much more.

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National Service Now

By John Bridgeland, Alan Khazei, and Harris Wofford | Huffington Post – September 12, 2014  

This week, we remember both the tragedy of 9/11 and the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps. In the aftermath of 9/11, millions of Americans stepped forward to serve their country -- some in the military, others in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or the new Citizen Corps for disaster response, and many in their local communities as volunteers.

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Erin Burnett OutFront with General McChrystal (VIDEO)

CNN - September 12, 2014  

General McChrystal joined Erin Burnett on CNN and discussed the Franklin Project’s plan for every young American to complete a service year.

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National Service Beyond National Tragedy (VIDEO)

Jay Mangone | HuffPost Live – September 11, 2014  

Franklin Project Director Jay Mangone goes on HuffPost live to talk national service on the anniversary of 9/11.

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On the Anniversary of 9/11, Committing to National Service as an American Value

By Condoleeza Rice and Robert Gates | TIME – September 10, 2014  

America – with serious divisions at home and serious threats abroad – needs sources of healing, unity and common purpose. National service is a powerful idea whose time has come.

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National Service and National Resilience

By Michele Flournoy | Huffington Post – September 9, 2014  

National service is, at the end of the day, a way of living our values, of walking the walk of what it means to be part of society that aspires to be democratic, egalitarian, and compassionate. A shared expectation of national service for all young Americans would undoubtedly help reinvigorate a national culture of giving, service and community more broadly.

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Our Common Call to Service

By Laurie Tisch | Huffington Post – July 29, 2014  

Service creates citizens, and service solves problems. Across the nation, there are ambitious efforts to expand the notion of service -- especially a service year -- as a formative, binding experience and a means to unleash human capital. This vision is more achievable than ever.

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How Higher Education Can Prepare the Volunteer Generation

By Drew Stelljes | Huffington Post – July 21, 2014  

We must give our students and our graduates the chance to serve their country. If we do this, students of this generation will someday be viewed as some of the greatest this country has ever witnessed. The gift to allow them the chance to pursue such a calling will be our legacy.

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Nurturing Citizen Leaders Starts in Higher Education

By Taylor Reveley | Huffington Post – July 2, 2014  

It's crucial to the quality of our national life and the strength of our democracy, however, that all colleges and universities help nurture citizen leaders. Embracing the Franklin Project can be a powerful means to that end. William & Mary has embraced the project.

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Securing the American Character

By General Stan McChrystal | Democracy Journal – Issue #33, Summer 2014  

Democracy grants rights and requires responsibilities. This reciprocal notion of citizenship is as old as the concept of self-government. In his most recent State of the Union address, President Barack Obama affirmed these sentiments.

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A Nation in Service

By Democracy Journal Editors | Democracy Journal – Issue #33, Summer 2014  

Comprehensive national service is one of those numerous ideas praised by many and implemented by none. For the last 30 years, we’ve had presidents who supported greatly expanding national service.

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Can National Service Become Integral to Our Culture?

By Harris Wofford | Democracy Journal – Issue #33, Summer 2014  

Most accounts of the long roller-coaster ride of the idea of universal national service see William James as the father of the idea. After delivering an influential address at Stanford University in 1906, the popular philosopher elaborated his proposal in 1910 in a long, widely read essay titled “The Moral Equivalent of War.”

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The Economics: Why National Service Is Worth It

By Clive Belfield | Democracy Journal – Issue #33, Summer 2014  

The value of national service might seem clear. But it’s important to make an economic case. In fact, an understanding of the economics of national service can help us promote service and should help make it more effective.

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From Idea to Reality: A National Service Platform

By Shirley Sagawa | Democracy Journal – Issue #33, Summer 2014  

We need to think bigger to leverage the human capital represented by the half a million young adults who want to serve. Growing and strengthening national service in America demands the full participation of all elements of society—including government, the private sector, and ordinary citizens. 

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The Power of a Service Year

By John Bridgeland | Huffington Post – June 7, 2014  

This week, on the heels of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, 400 leaders from every sector of American life gathered there to rededicate themselves and the country to what Lincoln called "our unfinished work." America could use a civic shot in the arm.

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D-Day About National Service

By Sec. Madeleine Albright | USA Today – June 6, 2014  

This spirit of civic competence and shared enterprise was carried home, in a thousand less obvious ways. The generation that won World War II believed, on good evidence, that national problems could yield to common action.

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The One Thing The Class of 2014 Needs To Hear Before Graduating

By Zach Maurin | Huffington Post – June 6, 2014  

Cliches don't help careers or shape character. Real concrete opportunities do. National service -- a "service year" -- is one opportunity that every young person needs to hear about.

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Interview with General McChrystal on Gettysburg Battlefield (VIDEO)

Olivier Knox | Yahoo! News – June 5, 2014  

General McChrystal sat down with Yahoo News chief Olivier Knox at the Franklin Project’s Summit at Gettysburg to discuss why he believes every young American ought to complete a service year.

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AmeriCorps Alums: Untapped Potential

By Mary Bruce and Ben Duda | Huffington Post – June 5, 2014  

Maya spent 1,700 hours serving her country with AmeriCorps. And now, she's ready to launch a career that will change the world. Or, she's out of luck, out of work, and about to join the estimated 6.7 million "disconnected youth" who cost taxpayers an estimated $1.56 trillion dollars over their lifetimes.

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The Timeless Stories of Service and Sacrifice Continue at Gettysburg

By Joanne Hanley | Huffington Post – June 4, 2014  

Some come to discover the important lessons of leadership and sacrifice that Gettysburg has to teach. But all who come leave changed, having stood on America's sacred ground. And on June 4-6, over 300 individuals will come to Gettysburg to attend the Aspen Institute Franklin Project's Summit at Gettysburg -- to show how our country can "create a common expectation and opportunity for all young people to serve our nation."

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Ready to Serve: Fostering a New Generation of Engaged Citizens

By Janet Riggs | Huffington Post – June 4, 2014  

This month, hundreds of government, military, private sector, education, faith, philanthropic and nonprofit leaders will gather on Gettysburg College's campus for the Aspen Institute Franklin Project's Summit at Gettysburg -- and we are eager to join them in discussing how we might revive a sense of engaged citizenship in the next generation of Americans.

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National Service is at a Crossroads

By Ilir Zherka | Huffington Post – June 3, 2014  

New technologies offer boundless opportunities for us to increase the number of people serving communities, while budget-cutters in Congress threaten to end national service as we know it. At this critical moment, we need people in government, nonprofits and the private sector to help realize the promise of national service to transform the country.

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Securing the American Character

By General Stan McChrystal | Politico – June 2, 2014  

Right now, we are facing a new crisis: Citizenship no longer demands a common experience — and so we no longer believe in a common future. The time has come for a dramatic and bold response that calls on every young American to serve.

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Finding the Path of Global Service

By Barbara Bush | Huffington Post – June 2, 2014  

As a 21-year-old junior in college, I thought my career path was fairly clear. A love for design led me to major in architecture, and I spent the summer of 2003 interning with a design firm in New York City. Yet it was the two weeks I took off from work that sparked a major career shift and transitioned me to a path of global service.

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McChrystal: The One Thing America Needs Right Now Is… (VIDEO)

NationSwell – May 23, 2014

General McChrystal, Chair of the Franklin Project’s Leadership Council, tells NationSwell that national service is the one thing America needs right now, and explains why.

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How’s Your Love Life… With Your Country?

By MacKenzie Moritz | Huffington Post – May 7, 2014  

Just imagine for a moment how great our country and our citizens could be if doing a service year was something all young people saw as an expected part of the process of growing up, similar to graduating from high school. Let's add service to our common definition of success and continue the tradition of handing the next generation the keys to a better country than we received.

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As Goes Iowa, So Goes The Nation

By John Bridgeland | The Gazette – March 29, 2014  

Iowa is known for its innovative caucuses that gather citizens in homes, schools, churches and public libraries to select delegates who ultimately help elect our President. So it was no surprise when, this week, Iowa took another important step to ignite citizens to participate in their democracy.


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It’s Time for a New Civic Institution

By Jay Mangone | Huffington Post – March 12, 2014  

Our country is at an inflection point. Four decades removed from compulsory military service, it would be very easy -- and convenient -- for us to slip in to a citizenship that's heavy on rights and light on responsibilities.


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Answering Our County’s Call

By Kurt Schmoke and John Bridgeland | The Hill – March 12, 2014  

Young Americans are seeking national and community service opportunities in numbers that could produce a next Greatest Generation.  We have both observed this trend since 9/11, but without a serious national effort that moves beyond the small scale of current programs, we risk losing their idealism and talents right at a time when our country needs them the most.

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Colleges Are the New Frontier for the National Service Movement

By The Editorial Board | Boston Globe – March 1, 2014  

It’s a win-win: Financially strapped nonprofits will get extra assistance, while promising young people will gain experience doing challenging, meaningful work. Participating students will almost certainly get a leg up in a tough job market. And while other freshmen don’t know a soul when they set foot on campus, Tufts 1+4 students will have already forged lasting friendships by the time they enter the classroom.


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Bloomberg TV Bottom Line: How National Service Can Help Boost the Economy (VIDEO)

Featuring Jay Mangone | Bloomberg TV – February 28, 2014  

The Franklin Project’s Jay Mangone, Tara Maller, and Yasmeen Shaheen-McConnell go on HuffPost Live to discuss why national service should be viewed as a civic responsibility in America.

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Expanding National Service on the College Campus

By Scott Cowen | Huffington Post – February 28, 2014  

While I'm not suggesting that we have all the answers, I can say without hesitation that on the Tulane campus, the Franklin Project's vision is now becoming a reality. Everyone is expected to give back to their communities and we are constantly increasing our capacity to meet our students' demand for meaningful service opportunities.

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The Franklin Project and Civic Responsibility (VIDEO)

Jay Mangone, Tara Maller, and Yasmeen Shaheen-McConnell | HuffPost Live – February 27, 2014  

The Franklin Project’s Jay Mangone, Tara Maller, and Yasmeen Shaheen-McConnell go on HuffPost Live to discuss why national service should be viewed as a civic responsibility in America.

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The Franklin Project Mentioned on Colbert Report by General McChrystal (VIDEO)

Comedy Central – February 20, 2014  

General McChrystal talked briefly about the Franklin Project during his recent interview with Stephen Colbert.

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A Call for Service For the New Millennium

By Alan D. Solomont | Huffington Post – February 20, 2014  

Engaging young people in service will provide a transformational experience at a pivotal time in their lives. They will have the chance to participate in something greater than themselves that will have a lasting effect on the world around them. 

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General Stanley McChrystal To Help Launch Tufts Program To Energize Civic Renewal (VIDEO)

Huffington Post – February 19, 2014  

Retired General Stanley McChrystal, chair of the leadership council of the Aspen Institute Franklin Project, today will help Tufts University officially launch Tufts 1+4, a bridge year program that will offer incoming students of all economic backgrounds the opportunity to engage in a year of full-time national or international service before beginning the traditional college experience.

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Iowa Launches First in the Nation Governor’s Council on National Service

By Wendy Spencer | White House Blog – February 17, 2014  

There are a number of areas where we need to make long-term investments as a society. As we prioritize how we allocate resources, supporting a large scale national service program that provides a common experience and reinforces a sense of a common American future needs to be near the top of the list.

READ MORE