From the Inside Flap
What if our nation were able to capitalize on the energy of Americans willing to serve and volunteer for a year or more?
The American Way to Change offers a compelling vision of national service that clearly illustrates what this means for our country. Throughout the book, Shirley Sagawa (a leading expert on the topic) profiles real people who have performed national service, examines the organizations they have worked with, and reveals the often profound impact these local heroes have made through their efforts. Using powerful stories of transformation, the book shows how anyone can change their community through service.
The book highlights dedicated people such as Washington D.C. public school chancellor Michelle Rhee who began her career as a Teach For America corpsmember, teaching in an inner city school in Baltimore. She went on to found the New Teacher Project, which has placed thousands of teachers in difficult-to-fill jobs and sparked important reforms in teacher hiring. She is a nationally recognized school system leader, pursuing reforms once thought impossible in a large city district.
America could be transformed if programs like the New Teacher Project operated at scale—not just in one or two neighborhoods, but wherever they are needed. Filled with illustrative examples and key lessons, the book describes how to achieve change through action at the community and organizational level and shows how service programs can tackle a variety of issues.
The American Way to Change speaks to ordinary citizens who want to make a difference and offers a clear road map for achieving extraordinary results.
From the Back Cover
Praise for The American Way to Change
"The stories of everyday people changing the nation through service come to life in this book. Shirley Sagawa has been at the center of service policy for two decades, and if we follow the blueprint she offers, together we can solve the pressing problems of our day."
—Alan Khazei, founder, Be the Change, Inc., and co-founder, City Year
"We are at a critical moment when real change is needed. Service can play a central role in that transformation, and this book spells out how everyone can participate."
—Lisa Paulsen, president and CEO, Entertainment Industry Foundation
"Shirley Sagawa has written an invaluable how-to book for accomplishing nothing less than the transformation of our nation."
—Marguerite Kondracke, president and CEO, America's Promise Alliance
"Sagawa vibrantly showcases our new opportunity to leverage civic energy to make a lasting impact. Policy makers, community leaders, and volunteers: this is your road map."
—Karen Baker, Secretary of Service and Volunteering for the State of California
"In this book, the godmother of national service and volunteerism takes her ideas to the next level and outlines a new approach to national problem solving—one that asks each of us to help reshape America."
—Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire state senator
"Sagawa offers a compelling case for the idea that citizen service is a critical strategy for solving the pressing problems of our time."
—AnnMaura Connolly, steering committee member, Voices for National Service
"Sagawa shows how we can improve the quality of life in America's communities through policies that encourage a lifetime of service."
—Stephen Goldsmith, chairman, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and author of The Power of Social Innovation
"This book highlights some of the most innovative and successful programs of our time and should be read by any policymaker or active citizen who is looking for effective strategies to solve our most critical social problems."
—Harris Wofford, former Pennsylvania state senator, and author of Of Kennedys and Kings, and former CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service