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AmeriCorps Service

October 16, 1994

I would like to respond to Amy Wu's Campus Correspondence, "Is Youthful Idealism Dead in the '90s?" (Opinion, Oct. 2). She seems to have given up on herself and her peers to make positive change in this country. I disagree with her ideas that our generation is out for money and that we have no desire to make positive change. I am a 23-year-old who is taking part in President Clinton's AmeriCorps year of service, in a branch called VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). This program would be beneficial to Wu and her peers who have a negative attitude because they would see the truth that there are many of us out there, from this generation, working to make positive change in communities throughout this country.

These programs have a contagious, positive, cyclical effect on the community. Participants inspire each other to dedicate their lives to community service. It is these participants who give faith back to the community, that someone cares about their welfare. It is this community that decides that positive change can and will occur with hard work. And it is this positive change, achieved, that leads to a brighter future for all of us.

Wu and her fellow students are at a time in their lives--college--where they should be dreaming of what could be, not dwelling on a future of misguided intentions. This freedom to dream should be enough to inspire them to dedicate themselves to at least one year of service, if not the rest of their lives. This generation is out there, waiting for their support with open arms.



* As my grandfather said, "If it ain't worth getting paid for, it ain't worth doin'." AmeriCorps should pay more and the youth should not feel guilty about wanting more.


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