Research and Evaluation Digest: Seniors in Service and Serving Our Seniors


Research and Evaluation Digest
May 22, 2024

Seniors in Service and Serving Our Seniors

Photo collage of 4 photos showing Seniors in Service

Seniors in Service and Serving Our Seniors

There’s a place for everyone in national service.

When I am describing AmeriCorps service in communities across the country or talking to leaders, some make assumptions. There’s an image that AmeriCorps members are young, perhaps taking a gap-year, or returning to serve their community after college. What I share is that, more than 140,000 volunteers will lead with AmeriCorps this year—all of whom happen to be over 55. AmeriCorps is an infrastructure that enables people at the beginning of their life’s work to contribute to communities and it’s where those with rich life experience and expertise come to give back. I’m referring to our AmeriCorps Seniors, RSVP, Foster Grandparents, and Senior Companion that connect seniors to opportunities mentoring children, giving time in community organizations, and building supportive networks between seniors.

As we continue to celebrate 30 years of AmeriCorps impact, I invite you to explore impressive highlights of the power of AmeriCorps, from the “return on investment” our AmeriCorps Seniors' Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs offer, to the work of our research grantees on gender, immigrants, and volunteerism. Also: if you are an AmeriCorps Seniors grantee or AmeriCorps research grantee, please see my personal invitation to you for our 2024 convening in partnership with AmeriCorps Seniors in Baltimore later this summer where we will reflect, empower, transform, and celebrate AmeriCorps seniors.

In service,
Mary Hyde, Ph.D., Director,
Office of Research and Evaluation

Older Adults and AmeriCorps: What the Current Research Says

A current study is examining the impact of COVID-19 on AmeriCorps Seniors grantees, volunteers, and beneficiaries. AmeriCorps research grantees are conducting national and local analyses as well as using participatory research methods to understand service experiences and civic engagement. Lastly, AmeriCorps is conducting generational analysis to understand the motivations to serve in national service and how older adults engage in formal volunteering and informal helping.

Research Grantees (2023 Cohort) focused on AmeriCorps Seniors or Older Adult Volunteers

University spotlight graphic

Your Invitation: AmeriCorps at 30 Years: Reflect, Empower, Transform, Celebrate

Beginning image for AmeriCorps Seniors National Convening video - Mary Hyde director or research and evaluation

Click the picture to view the video.

AmeriCorps Seniors National Convening 2024 Together with Research and Evaluation Partners: 30 Years of AmeriCorps - Reflect, Empower, Transform, Celebrate

Tuesday, July 30, to Thursday, Aug. 1

Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor

Learn More

Register for the Webinar "Snapshots in Service: AmeriCorps and Workforce Development"

Join the Office of Research and Evaluation as we explore the evidence that tells a story of how National Service contributes to workforce readiness. This final webinar in our series titled "30th Anniversary celebration of AmeriCorps’ Evidence Story" will showcase what AmeriCorps has learned from workforce specific research, practitioner and program models, and the assessment of ten years of participant data.

Thursday, June 13, 3 p.m. ET


Webinar Series Recordings Available

Putting Civic Engagement in Context: Exploring Data Trends, Uses, and Actionable Insights

View the recording and presentation materials from this webinar that featured case studies of three AmeriCorps evidence-building efforts that generate actionable insights for national service programs, nonprofit organizations, policymakers, and the public. Taken together, these cases highlight how bringing together data on the big picture with experiences on the ground can paint a more holistic picture of civic engagement in America.

See this and all recordings from our 30th Anniversary Webinar Series here.

Evidence Exchange Highlights

Visit the Evidence Exchange