CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Former Governor Deval Patrick is one of several well-known Americans who are getting behind an effort to have all young people perform some sort of national service.
Patrick is a co-chair of Serve America Together, which is hoping to get the attention of the candidates in next year’s presidential election, and also advance national service legislation.
The former governor told 22News Tuesday that he himself performed a year of service while living in Africa following college, and it was an invaluable experience. He said that implementing such an effort nationwide could even help begin to break down some of the political divides we have in this country, by helping one another understand others’ experiences.
Patrick said we have already seen success with Project 351 in Massachusetts. Project 351, which began when Patrick was in office, connects eighth grade students with community service and leadership opportunities.
“You see these young people feeling empowered to understand their future, and that our community is up to them. And that is exactly what we should want from every good citizen,” Patrick said.
In addition to the former governor, some other well-known co-chairs of Serve America Together are Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, Retired General Stanley McChrystal, and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.