SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Boys and Girls Family Center in Springfield welcomed back an esteemed alumnus Wednesday. Micheal Smith, the CEO of AmeriCorps and former special assistant to President Obama, returned home to engage local leaders in a community conversation.

According to a news release sent to 22News from the Springfield City Council, the conversation is about how service and civic engagement can support the community.

Smith was originally from Springfield and is a proud alumnus of the Springfield Boys & Girls Club. He now leads AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteering, in a position that was appointed to by President Biden. Before he joined AmeriCorps, he was the special assistant to President Obama, helping to design and launch the My Brother’s Keeper initiative at the White House, which is work he continued as the executive director of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, as well as the director of Youth Opportunity Programs at the Obama Foundation.  

“My life is possible today because of the mentors, the coaches, the advocates that had my back here at the Boys and Girls Club Family Center. And now as CEO of AmeriCorps, I’m excited that we now have AmeriCorps members that serve here and we’re bringing together the community to talk about the grants that we have available, to talk about the programs we have available to help kids and families all across the city,” said Smith.

Wednesday’s community conversation also focused on how non-profit organizations from the Springfield area can apply for grants through AmeriCorps or get additional programs and volunteers.