The national director of AmeriCorps, Bill Basl, will visit with University of Southern Mississippi students working with local youth as mentors and tutors through AmeriCorps at the Boys and Girls Club of Hattiesburg Thursday, Oct. 4 at 3 p.m. The Boys and Girls Club is located at 5670 U.S. Highway 49.
Basl took the position as the organization’s director in August after serving 18 years as executive director of the Washington Commission for National and Community Service. His work in the field began in 1970 as a VISTA volunteer helping migrant workers in Washington start their own businesses, followed by a stint at as a VISTA volunteer leader during which he helped establish a regional services network.
In 1983, he founded the nation’s first statewide youth service initiative, the Washington Services Corps, while also working on the establishment of national service legislation. He followed that effort with the establishment of the nation’s first veteran’s corps as well as a regional network to provide AmeriCorps training in the Pacific Northwest. In 2011, he was honored for his work by the White House with a Champion of Change-Service Innovator award.
“We look forward to Mr. Basl’s visit and the opportunity to show him the work Southern Miss AmeriCorps members do to improve the quality of life in the communities they serve,” said Joshua Duplantis, director of the Southern Miss Office of Community Service Learning.
Southern Miss students, including those working with AmeriCorps, contribute more than 52,000 community service hours annually. This effort is facilitated through the Southern Miss Office of Community Service Learning (OCSL). For more information about the OCSL, online visit http://www.usm.edu/ocsl or call 601.266.5074.