Service Year

Important Announcement

IEI is pleased to announce the transfer of the Service Year North Carolina initiative to
John-Paul Smith and American Ripples effective April 6, 2021.
To contact John-Paul Smith, please email him at or call him at 704-562-1995.

When IEI first brought 65 people together in December 2016 to explore the idea of promoting service across the state, we had no idea if the concept would resonate: 

To promote and make accessible a year of paid service for all North Carolinians (ages 16-28) to invest their time and talent and build skills while contributing to the vitality of their communities.

It did and the initiative took root thanks in no small measure to the enthusiastic reception it received from current and former service members and organizations hosting service members across the state. 

IEI staffers Maggie Woods and Darryl Lester embraced the enthusiasm and turned this idea into actions. Early wins for Service Year NC included recruiting four place-based leadership teams (Wilson, Greenville, Rockingham and Wilkes counties) and building an Advisory Council. This was followed by the development of a strategic plan and of relationships across the state and country. 

IEI’s approach with programmatic initiatives is to incubate and grow them to a point where we determine if the idea has merit. If it does, we then make a call on whether we are the best place to continue to host the program or if it can do better in a permanent home somewhere else. In the case of SYNC, we believe there is proven value in mounting intentional efforts to grow the supply, and diversity, of people interested in doing service years and in organizations and communities excited to host them. And we believe there are greater opportunities for that concept to succeed as part of American Ripples.

As we transition the program, we would like to extend a special thanks to those who sponsored our work: The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Local Government Federal Credit Union and the Service Year Alliance.  As with so much of IEI’s work, we would not have gotten to this point without the attention and encouragement of experts willing to give us their time and wisdom. We are grateful for past and current SYNC Advisory Board members Ran Coble, Lou Anne Crumpler, Leslie Garvin, Atrayus Goode, Richard Harrill and John-Paul Smith.  

Learn more about Service Year below

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