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A New Draft for America? A Service Year by Young Americans Would Protect America and Maybe Heal It Along the Way


The idea of a service year for young Americans has been floated around for decades but with no substantive action. A definitive first step to push young Americans in a year of service starts with encouraging colleges to require them before matriculation or to weigh the experience heavily in admissions decisions.

Democracy and Governance

National Service: A New Civic Contract


BY KEVIN FRAZIER AND MASON JI To paraphrase the late Senator John McCain, “Civic participation over a lifetime will strengthen America’s civic purpose.” Now more than ever, we need civic purpose. A compulsory national service requirement can help us find it. The state of our civic well-being has been trending downwards: voter turnout is consistently […]

Hope, Purpose, Action: Volunteering on the Island of Lesvos


BY HAMADA ZAHAWI The windy, unpaved coastal road seemed to stretch forever. We were clearly lost, driving as we had been for miles in search of the almost mythical ‘Lifejacket Graveyard’ near Molyvos. We were in Greece as part of a group of 45 student volunteers from myriad countries, professions, and schools across Harvard—tasked with […]

Cities and Communities

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