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 Home > News & Policies > April 2003

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 10, 2003

Presidential Message: National Youth Service Day

I send greetings to those participating in National Youth Service Day.

Since our Nation's founding, volunteer service has been a vital part of the American experience. Service to others is an expression of responsible citizenship, and now more than ever is a time for our Nation's young people to be active contributors, not spectators.

I created the USA Freedom Corps and the Students in Service to America initiatives to mobilize our citizens and provide opportunities for young people to give back to their communities. As part of these initiatives, I asked all Americans to dedicate at least 4,000 hours over the rest of their lives to serving our Nation through volunteering. Since then, our citizens, and particularly our young people, have responded to my call with an outpouring of kindness that is transforming our Nation one heart and one soul at a time.

National Youth Service Day is a great example of what can happen when dedicated individuals come together to serve a cause greater than self. Across our Nation, millions of young people are participating in projects that help their neighbors in need. By using their time, talents, and compassion to make a difference in the lives of others, these young people are learning to become responsible and engaged citizens in our democratic society.

I commend participants for your energy, idealism, and willingness to serve. I also applaud the more than 60 national partner organizations working with schools, houses of worship, local governments, and community and civic organizations in all 50 states to make this day a success. Your efforts strengthen our Nation and contribute to a future of hope and promise for all.

Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a productive and memorable day.