Calling all Jumpstart Alums!
Does the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award sound familiar? How about just “your Education Award”? If you completed your 300 hours of Jumpstart service, it should!
The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is a benefit earned by individuals who complete national service in AmeriCorps partner programs like ours. At Jumpstart, alums receive $1,175 to use on current education expenses, repay qualified student loans or pay expenses while participating in an approved school-to-work program. The award is an extra “Thank You” for volunteering and giving back to your community.
But, did you know your award is taxed? It’s true; your AmeriCorps thank you is taxed. Here at Jumpstart, we do not think our alums should have to pay a thank you tax. Luckily, some members of Congress agreed.
On May 7, 2019, U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson (GA) and Michael Bennet (CO) introduced the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Tax Relief Act of 2019, which matches the bill Representative John Lewis (GA) introduced in the House of Representatives in March. Both the House and Senate bills eliminate the federal tax and allow you to keep and use 100% of your Segal AmeriCorps Education Award.
What Can You Do?
If making the award tax free for current and future Jumpstart alums is important to you, make sure your representative and senator know. Call or email your representatives in Washington, D.C., and urge them to cosponsor H.R. 1794 and S.1355.
How Do You Find Your Representative & Senator?
What Do You Say?
Tell them YOUR story. There is no right or wrong thing to say, but if you are still uncertain, here are a few questions to think about:
- What did your service at Jumpstart mean to you?
- How has your service impacted you?
- In your experience, what did Jumpstart mean for the kids you served?
- How has the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award helped you?
Still not sure? Not to worry, feel free to use the below prompt to guide your conversation.
“Hello, my name is [your name] and I am a Jumpstart alum from your district/state. I am calling today to ask Representative/Senator [name] to cosponsor H.R. 1794/S.1355, the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Tax Relief Act of 2019. Making this award for my national service tax free is important to me and I hope Representative/Senator [name] agrees with me. Can we count on Representative/Senator [name] to cosponsor this very important bill? Thank you for taking my message and passing it along.”
My Representative & Senator Are Already Cosponsors
Not to worry, you can still call or email and thank them for their continued support. They will appreciate the thank you and your outreach will reinforce their commitment to making the award tax free.