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Last Updated On: 01/20/2015
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Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps / AmeriCorps


Organizational Information

Parent Organization

Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8

Vision, Mission and/or Purpose of Organization

The Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps, through a strong ethic of community service and regional partnerships, commits to educating and mentoring children, youth and adults; strengthening families and communities; restoring and conserving the environment; and engaging citizens in the spirit of community service, across our Western Pennsylvania.

History of Organization

Tradition of Service The AmeriCorps program was created in the spirit of Community Service, which has been a traditional and integral part of our American history. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt organized the Civilian Conservation Corps, which is responsible for having built many of our nation’s parks and conservation areas. Following WWII, the GI Bill was created and military service to our country was awarded with educational benefits. In 1960, President John F. Kennedy sought to relieve international distress and poverty by citizen service abroad, through the creation of the Peace Corps. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson was instrumental in the creation of the VISTA program as a domestic Peace Corps to address community issues here at home. Experimental youth and senior service programs sprang up all over the country during the 1970’s and 1980’s, depending primarily on the political climate. With this movement, the private and nonprofit sectors began to play a substantial role in both advocacy for, and the development of, volunteer and citizen service. In 1990, President George H. Bush developed the Commission on National and Community Service to engage U.S. citizens in community programs designed to combat illiteracy and poverty, and to address environmental issues. Further expansion of national service took place in 1993 with the signing of the National Community Service Trust Act by President William J. Clinton. This law created a national headquarters that would administer the funds set aside to support community service programs including VISTA, The Senior Corps, Learn and Serve, and a newly created AmeriCorps. In 1994, community leaders met to propose the submission of a grant that would allow this rural region of Pennsylvania to receive some of the federal funds set aside for community service. As a result of that initial meeting, The Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 became the administering agency for the regional AmeriCorps initiative and The Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps was created. The PMSC began with a 40 member Corps and two staff persons. They partnered with non-profit and governmental organizations across 10 Pennsylvania Counties, and addressed all four major AmeriCorps initiatives: education, human needs, public safety, and environment. Then, in 2001, following the September 11 tragedies, President George W. Bush asked all Americans to give at least two years or 4,000 hours over their lifetime, and on July 3, 2003, President Bush signed the Strengthen AmeriCorps Program Act, which nearly doubled the number of AmeriCorps members. In 2009, the Serve America Act was passed under President Barack H.Obama continuing the legacy of expanding national service opportunities. PMSC continues to grow, with over 150 members addressing critical community needs in over 85 agencies. Since the inception of the PMSC AmeriCorps program, thousands of students have been tutored in math and reading, thousands of seniors and families provided with services that would have otherwise gone undone, hundreds of after-school and educational activities presented to at-risk youth, hundreds of miles of water tested and cleaned up, thousands of volunteer hours generated, and a unique collaborative effort of community organizations formed.


Corporation For National And Community Service AmeriCorps PennSERVE

Contact Information

Key Leader(s)

Carol Overly -  Program Manager

Contact Person(s)

Carol Overly - Program Manager
Heather Kennedy - Regional Coordinator

Contact Number(s)

814-472-7690 - Telephone

Contact Email(s) - Regional Coordinator

Web Addresses

Primary Address

Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps
c/o Appalachia Intermediate Unit 08
119 Park Street
Ebensburg, PA, 15931

Additional Addresses

c/o Appalachia Unit 08
119 Park Street
Ebensburg, PA, 15931

Service Information

Service Area

Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Cambria,Centre,Clearfield, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Somerset, Westmoreland and Washington Counties

Service Description

The Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps (PMSC), likened to a domestice Peace Corps, is the regional initiative of the national AmeriCorps program. PMSC accepts full-time and part-time corspmembers, who perform direct service at nonprofit agencies within a twelve county region. Members report to their specific service site on a daily basis. PMSC is a program that provides service in all AmeriCorps priority areas including: Education, Environment, Human Needs, and Public Safety. PMSC corpsmembers provide service, addressing the needs of diverse people and communities in the region. Examples of a few member positions include: mentoring teens, renovating low income housing, teaching adults to read, counseling victims of violent crimes, tutoring challenged youth, teaching parenting skills, sampling water for pollutants, developing historical trails, encouraging tourism, educating the community on various issues, etc. AmeriCorps members "Get Things Done!"

Available Hours

8:00 am - 4:00 pm / Monday through Friday

Fees/Cost for Services

None to Corpsmember. Sponsoring organization -- cash match and in-kind contributions.

Eligibility Requirements

Corpsmember Requirements: Must be at least 17 years of age; Must have a high school diploma or GED; Must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident alien; Must commit to 1700 or 900 hours of service. Community Partner Requirements: Must apply each year for corpsmember placement slots; Be a non-profit organization; Supply cash match and in-kind contributions; Meet criteria for corpsmember service description; Provide member support.

Required Documentation

Multiple Documents required for Member Enrollment. Sponsor sites see application. Available

Miscellaneous Information

Speaker Available