Magazine article The American Prospect

Suddenly Serviceable. (Correspondence)

Magazine article The American Prospect

Suddenly Serviceable. (Correspondence)

Article excerpt

RICHARD JUST'S ARTICLE "Suddenly Serviceable" [January 1-14] should be widely read, especially by America's high-school and college students. The article is both thought-provoking and a call to action for young people. The horrors of September 11 have ignited a rededication to public service that is reminiscent of the months following President Kennedy's 1961 inaugural address.

Democratic Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana and Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona have rekindled the national-service debate with a bill that encourages and facilitates public service. The senators are right to ask colleges and universities to expand community-service opportunities. Governors throughout the country should institute high-school requirements for community service as well.

Presently, Maryland is the only state in the country that makes community service a requirement for high-school graduation. The positive outcomes for government, nonprofit, and community-based organizations, as well as for the students themselves, have been remarkable.

Creating new national-service opportunities and expanding current programs such as AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps are also appropriate responses during a time when so many Americans are eager, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "to serve with a heart full of grace and a soul regenerated by love."

Maryland General Assembly

RICHARD JUST WRITES CO-gently about the resurgence of interest in an extended, and even mandatory, program of national service. …

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