Bill Clinton joins Obama to celebrate AmeriCorps

Image: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton
President Barack Obama listens as former President Bill Clinton speaks on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, during an event marking the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps, which promotes volunteerism and community service. President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton joined forces Friday to mark the 20th anniversary of the AmeriCorps national service program, heralding the impact volunteering can have on both individuals and the nation. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Charles Dharapak / AP

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President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton celebrated the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps on Friday by talking about the important role service has played in their own lives and calling on Congress to extend funding for the program.

“Those of you who know my story, starting off as a community organizer, I would not be standing here if it was not for service to others,” Obama said at a ceremony at the White House.

Clinton created the program in 1993 and lauded both Obama and President George W. Bush for growing it since. “Till my last day on Earth I will be grateful that I had a chance to start AmeriCorps,” Clinton said.

Obama announced new initiatives to encourage employers to hire national service alumni.

“If we’re smart, Congress will fund this calling that has meant so much to so many and keep AmeriCorps strong,” the president said.

-- Andrew Rafferty