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AmeriCorps Announces Summer Service Opportunities Supporting the Environment, Affordable Housing and Economic Opportunity

AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, today announces two short-term, summer service opportunities with AmeriCorps NCCC and AmeriCorps VISTA programs. While traditional AmeriCorps programs are approximately one year in length, these summer opportunities connect adults 18 and older with six-week service opportunities to build skills, grow their resumes and address the nation’s most pressing needs.

AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, team-based residential service program that allows young adults to make a positive impact in communities across the country while gaining valuable leadership skills. While the traditional program is ten months, Summer of Service is a three-month program open to young adults between the ages of 18 to 26 to travel and serve together. Members join hands-on, full-time projects for six weeks to support the environment and affordable housing, among other focus areas. Last year, 13 Summer of Service projects supported environmental stewardship and disaster response efforts across the US. Members served a total of 28,396 hours, restoring and constructing more than 28 miles of hiking trails, removing more than 17,000 pounds of debris and trash, harvesting 200 pounds of food and more.

More than 7,000 AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program serve annually to alleviate poverty by helping local organizations expand capacity to make change. The AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate program offers Americans the opportunity to serve on a short-term basis and engage in a current project for eight to ten weeks, beginning in May. Summer associates help increase the project’s direct impact on those being served. Service activities can include recruiting, training and coordinating volunteers; coaching and mentoring young athletes and musicians; conducting community education, outreach and awareness related to the project and more. Past summer associate projects have included:

Tutoring and helping increase college and career readiness with Waipahu High Early College Initiative, a college preparation program to help students from underserved communities in Waipahu, Hawaii;
Supporting vaccine and food distribution in communities with Michigan Community Service Commission, the state’s agency for volunteerism under the Michigan Office of the Governor; and
Ensuring children have access to books with Storytime Village, an organization that inspires a lifelong love of reading for children across Kansas.
“AmeriCorps’ short-term service projects open the door to new opportunities, help address our country’s most urgent challenges, reduce barriers to participation and engage even more people and organizations in national service,” said Michael D. Smith AmeriCorps CEO. “These short-term service projects strengthen civic learning and build a culture of service in our country so that we can ensure our young people from all backgrounds have the knowledge and skills they need to actively participate in our democracy.”

AmeriCorps NCCC and AmeriCorps VISTA projects are currently accepting applications for Summer 2023. AmeriCorps NCCC Summer of Service application deadline for team leaders is Tuesday, February 28, 2023, and for members is Friday, March 31, 2023.AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate 2023 position opportunities may vary in length depending on the current projects. Projects currently accepting applications are available on MyAmeriCorps portal.

Since 2000, AmeriCorps NCCC teams have assisted 20.6 million people in disaster areas, recruited or coordinated nearly 940,000 volunteers, assisted more than 33,000 veterans, served 6.1 million meals, protected more than 1.6 million acres of land through firefighting and fire management and more.

AmeriCorps VISTA program focuses on poverty alleviation such as education, public health and food security in all 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. Programs support activities such as fundraising, grant writing, research and volunteer recruitment.


AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, provides opportunities for Americans to serve their country domestically, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, improve lives and communities, and strengthen civic engagement. Each year, the agency places more than 200,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in intensive service roles; and empowers millions more to serve as long-term, short-term, or one-time volunteers. Learn more at

AmeriCorps offers opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds to be a part of the national service community, grow personally and professionally, and receive benefits for their service. Learn how to get involved at

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Amid the AI hype, don’t forget about no-code

No-code startup Softr, which allows its customers to build apps from their existing data, announced Tuesday that it has added Google Sheets to its integration list.

Previously, Softr focused on Airtable databases. Its move to support data from Google’s spreadsheet product likely expands its potential customer pool. Even before that expansion, CEO Mariam Hakobyan told TechCrunch+ that her company grew its annual recurring revenue 3x from December 2021 to December 2022.


Softr’s quick revenue expansion is a good reminder that while the tech world seems completely consumed by all things AI, there’s quite a lot of work going on in other areas that are worth keeping an eye on.

That said, there is an interesting connection between AI and no-code worth writing down: Both are potentially great expanders of human capability. AI tooling could operate as a second brain of sorts for the digitally busy, and no-code services may allow nondevelopers to build the tools they need to complete their work. In both cases, the genres of new tech development have a shot at helping regular folks do a lot more, more quickly and often at a low cost.

Something else that modern AI tooling and no-code share is accessibility. Softr, for example, grew its base of signed-up users from 35,000 to 150,000 in 2022. That’s really quite a lot for a service that was, until recently, Airtable-specific. On the AI side, I don’t need to reiterate just how much market demand there is for modern LLM tooling.

Let’s dig into Softr’s progress since we last covered the company and chat about what we can learn about no-code progress as a method of building more accessible software.

Softr, no-code and empowering the regulars
Ask anyone who works at a company that builds software and isn’t part of the engineering or product orgs how long it will take them to get something built for their own needs. Without even making Jira ticket jokes, we all know what the answer will be. And to a degree, the standard situation makes sense: What nondeveloper employees need is often pretty basic software, and expensive engineers need to focus on the company’s core offering not internal tooling.

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Twitter’s legacy blue checkmark era is officially over

Twitter appears to have officially killed off its legacy blue checkmarks, one of the last remaining vestiges of the pre-Elon Musk owner era.

The legacy blue checks, which Twitter doled out to journalists, celebrities and other public officials for free to help curb impersonations and spam, were supposed to end April 1.

Musk took to Twitter on April 11 — days after the legacy checkmarks should have disappeared — to shift the end date to April 20 or 4/20. Yes, that’s the day when folks honor weed because Twitter is now owned by a middle schooler.

With the legacy checkmarks gone, Twitter will have verification marks only for paid users and businesses as well as government entities and officials. Now, if a user sees a blue checkmark and clicks on it, the label reads: “This account is verified because they are subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number.”

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Autotech Ventures’ new $230M mobility fund adds fintech, circular economy to its investment strategy

Autotech Ventures will use its newly closed $230 million fund to expand beyond its foundation of early-stage ground transportation startups and invest in what the firm believes are the next big opportunities in automotive and mobility.

Fintech, logistics, supply chain and the circular economy are at the top of the list.

The $230 million fund, its third since launching in 2017, will be used to invest in seed through Series C mobility-related startups, according to the company. A mixture of financial and corporate LPs, including Allison Transmission, American Axle, Iochpe-Maxion and Shell participated in the fund.

“We’re still a ground transportation-focused firm and we have a very similar strategy [with this fund],” Alexei Andreev, Autotech Ventures managing director told TechCrunch. “On a high-level, it’s same as Fund 1 and Fund 2. However, one of the fastest areas of growth is SaaS-enabled fintech. Auto commerce is inefficient and there are large pockets of profit to capture.”

The firm is particularly interested in transportation-related fintech ventures that are poised to grow during a recession.

“We made a prediction that sooner or later there will be a recession and we identified areas that benefit when the economy softens, Andreev said, noting that this latest fund invested in Yendo, a Dallas-based startup (formerly known as Otto) that lets customers borrow against their vehicles at the same interest rate as standard credit cards.

Autotech Ventures’ previous fintech investments include U.K.-based buy now, pay later startup Bumper and Carpay, a buy here, pay here loan servicing SaaS platform for car dealers.

Andreev said the firm is also investigating investment opportunities in the circular economy, a nascent industry focused on finding ways to reuse materials and products. Circular economy startups have garnered an increasing amount of attention and investment as automakers transition away from gas-powered vehicles and towards EVs.

Autotech Ventures is also cautiously wading into generative AI, although Andreev was quick to note that the company has not made any investments in that area.

Autotech has more than $500 million under management and has invested in more than 40 companies.

Some of the firm’s investments include computer vision startup DeepScale (which was acquired by Tesla), Lyft, used vehicle marketplace operator Frontier Car Group, Drover, Outdoorsy, Swvl, parking app SpotHero and, which Apple acquired in January 2020. Five of those startups have gone public, including indie Semiconductor and Volta Charging.

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