Host Sites for Maryland's Service Year Option and Maryland Corps Programs


Article contributed  by Todd Troester

Maryland, District 17 — December 1, 2023  . 

The Maryland Department of Service and Civic Innovation in its first year is expanding service and volunteerism statewide. This will create  new pathways of service to meet community needs, enhance workforce development, and promote preparedness for both higher and vocational education. Community Support Services, Inc., Madison House Autism Foundation, Nguyen Crown Dental Care, and Sunflower Bakery are host sites for the inaugural class of Maryland’s Service Year Option and Maryland Corps members, a partnership with the Maryland Department of Service and Civic Innovation.

Roles at the host sites can range from academic tutoring, assisting in healthcare facilities, advancing public safety, to taking up environment conservation projects.

Sunflower Bakery is the largest program in Maryland that trains young adults with learning differences for employment success in pastry arts, hospitality, and food-related industries. Sunflower’s workforce development training programs combine formal curriculum instruction with on-the-job training, job development, and job placement. Sunflower Bakery promotes workplace acceptance and inclusion of people with disabilities by placing our well-trained graduates in local businesses and educating employers on the proven economic and social benefits of employing people with disabilities.

This ultimately enables pathways to employment for a historically underserved population and increases their engagement in the economy and the community. “Sunflower Bakery has heard the call to serve! We are elated to officially announce that Sunflower Bakery is a host partner for the inaugural cohort of Maryland’s first-in-the-nation Public Service Year Program. We are honored to be working with the Maryland Department of Service and Civic Innovation and Sec. Paul Monteiro, who are dedicated to providing people of all abilities the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.”

– Jody Tick, Executive Director of Sunflower Bakery About Community Support Services, Inc: Community Support Services, Inc. is committed to the provision of quality community-based services to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Individuals will be supported in accordance with their needs in school, work, home and the community. Services to be provided may include, but are not limited to: special education, customized employment, supported living/residential, behavioral supports, transportation, and recreation. Services are designed by the individual, the individual’s family and others who know the individual well. Services are rendered in the environment in which the individual desires to live, work, recreate, or pursue educational goals. Services are fashioned to support each individual’s own self-directed life goals.

The Madison House Autism Foundation’s mission is to promote, model and advocate for the full inclusion of adults with autism and their families in the life of our communities; and to expand choice and opportunity in housing, employment, and social participation.

“At Nguyen Crown Dental Care, our mission is to provide patients of all ages with exceptional dental care in a warm and relaxing atmosphere. Crown Dental Care  know that you work hard to fit dental visits into your busy life, so we strive to make it easier by offering convenient hours, flexible financing options, and a comprehensive list of dental services.”

“I’m so proud that this program will serve Gaithersburg, Rockville, and the entire state as young people have a life-changing experience while serving the community.” Senator Cheryl Kagan "Learning on the job while making a positive impact in your community is a dream job for many young people. We're delighted that young leaders will have this opportunity to grow professionally and to drive change through service."

Delegate Julie Palakovich Carr “We are delighted to welcome the partnership of Community Support Services, Inc, Madison House Autism Foundation, Nguyen Crown Dental, and Sunflower Bakery as host sites for the inaugural class of Service Year Option and Maryland Corps members. Sunflower Bakery's commitment to inclusivity and skill-building aligns seamlessly with the core values of service and civic innovation. Together, we embark on a journey to empower individuals and create positive change in our community. This partnership is a shining example of how collaboration can lead to meaningful impact, and we are excited for the transformative experiences that lie ahead.

Delegate Joe Vogel "We are so thrilled and grateful that these wonderful organizations and companies right here in District 17 have answered the call to support the Governor's innovative and inspiring Service Year Option and Maryland Corps program” … "They are giving participants the chance to have life-changing volunteer experiences while bettering the lives of all the Marylanders they are serving."

Delegate Ryan Spiegel About Maryland's Service Year Option and Maryland Corps Programs: The Service Year Option is a service opportunity for young adults who recently completed high school. Members earn at least $15 an hour and work at least 30 hours a week. Members gain both hard and soft skills through a service placement aligned with their area of interest, in addition to working with support coaches to develop and refine their post-service plans—whether they include college, career, or continued service.

Maryland Corps is a service opportunity for people of all ages.
According to the Service Year Option is a service opportunity for young adults. Members earn at least $15 an hour and work at least 30 hours a week. A service year is a paid opportunity to develop real-world skills through hands-on service. All service years share one thing in common: they provide a paid, life-changing experience.

Requirements of Maryland Corps:
Interest in meeting new people, developing new professional
skills and discovering new possibilities for your career and/or educational journey.

What will I do as a Maryland Corps Member?
Maryland Corps members will be paired with an apprenticeship
program, nonprofit, business or government agency that supports your
professional development. Organizations in the following issue areas will
be prioritized during the 2023-2024 service term:

Climate—work on clean energy projects like home weatherization and
windmill energy

Education—serve in classrooms as tutors for children, youth recreation
assistants or as a nutrition assistance professional. Serve in or out of
classrooms to help youth connect to knowledge about health,
well-being and life skills.
Benefits of Maryland Corps
Maryland Corps Members:

Earn $15 an hour.

Serve at least 30 hours a week
at your sponsoring organization
and participate in targeted
professional development. The
program is a minimum 40 hours
per week time commitment.

Receive professional
development, on the job
training, mentoring and time to
explore potential career paths
for your future.

Career coaching and job
seeking assistance throughout
the Service Year, and upon
completion of your year
of service.

Members also receive $6,000
that can be paid out as a taxable
cash stipend or deposited into
a Maryland 529 account toward
your future tuition costs.

This years’ program started:
October 25, 2023.
Program Concludes:
August 30, 2024. So look out for next year! Or call to see about availability! 

Following completion of their service year, participants in both programs will earn a completion award of $6,000 that may be accessed as a direct payment or as a deposit into a Maryland 529 Education Account for those pursuing their studies.

Todd Troester: Director of Development submitted this story    410-708-1260
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