Potomac Conservancy has partnered with the Maryland Department of Service and Civic Innovation to become a host site for the first class of Service Year Option and Maryland Corps members.
The downtown Silver Spring-based nonprofit works to diminish water pollution and reinforce the community’s natural defenses against the impacts of the climate crisis.
Additionally, the Maryland Department of Service and Civic Innovation announced in a press release Monday that it will expand service and volunteerism across the state in its inaugural year. The expansion aims to create new service opportunities to address community needs, bolster workforce development, and prepare individuals for higher education and vocational training.
Roles available at host sites vary and can involve academic tutoring, supporting healthcare facilities, improving public safety, and participating in environmental conservation projects.
“We’re beyond excited to roll out these programs,” said Paul Monteiro, Maryland’s Secretary of Service and Civic Innovation, “they’re not just about offering opportunities but linking service, education, and job readiness into a unified, powerful experience.”
Potomac Conservancy also announced the participation of two Maryland Corps members, Monica Bradley and Scott Watkins, in the program’s first year. The members are assisting environmental service programs that engage community members in hands-on activities to safeguard and revitalize local streams, forests, and urban parks.
Maryland State Senator William C. Smith, Jr. and Delegates Lorig Charkoudian, David Moon, and Jheanelle Wilkins joined the nonprofit for Monday’s announcement.
“As public servants, we believe in nurturing young leaders who can contribute to our civic life with compassion, practicality, resilience, and responsibility. This collaboration will offer participants the ability to identify opportunities where they can make a difference,” Senator William C. Smith, Jr., and Delegates Lorig Charkoudian, David Moon, and Jheanelle Wilkins said in a joint statement.
Maryland Corps, established in 2016, is set to change under the SERVE Act. According to WTOP, young adults aged 18-21 who have recently graduated high school or obtained a GED can apply for the Service Year Option, a nine-month program that places participants with businesses or government agencies in areas such as education, public safety, and information technology. Participants will earn $15 an hour and receive a $6,000 stipend for future education upon program completion. The Maryland Corps program has no age limit or graduation requirement.
According to Baltimore Fishbowl, the law initially offered 200 spots for the service year program. By 2026, the program will be expanded to accommodate 2,000 high school graduates.
“Potomac Conservancy is thrilled to partner with the Maryland Corps program and help champion the next generation of conservation leaders in our region,” said Alexis Dickerson, Sr. Director of Community Conservation at Potomac Conservancy. “Monica and Scott are diving right into the work and getting more people in the community involved in initiatives that are restoring the health of Maryland’s lands and waters.”
“The launch of the Service Year Option and Maryland Corps Program represents a renewed commitment to cultivating opportunities and inspiring a spirit of service in Maryland,” said Gov. Wes Moore. “We’re not just launching programs; we’re connecting Marylanders to their communities and unlocking their potential in ways that will shape our collective future.”
Potomac Conservancy Graphic