Serve Colorado Secures 2023 Commission Innovation Award

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DENVER, NOVEMBER 30, 2023 — Serve Colorado, part of the Office of Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera and which oversees Colorado’s AmeriCorps programming, has won the 2023 America’s Service Commission (ASC) Innovation Award in the category Innovation in Partnerships. ASC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing and promoting the 52 state service commissions across the United States and territories, with the mission to lead and elevate the state service network. The ASC Innovation Awards celebrates efforts that redefine the landscape of public service and community engagement. Serve Colorado’s recognition in the Innovation and Partnerships category signifies its exceptional work in forging collaborations to advance career opportunities, empower members statewide, and leverage national service to make significant impacts in our communities.

“Serve Colorado remains a powerful force for good in our state. By bringing together service-minded individuals and sending them across the state, members are able to carry out projects that strengthen the local communities they’re serving in while gaining valuable hands-on work experience,” said Lt. Governor Primavera. “The Governor and I are incredibly proud of the innovative work Serve Colorado is leading here in the state and how they have become a leader in AmeriCorps service nationwide.”

Between 2019 and 2023, Serve Colorado has doubled their operational programs from 11 to 24. In the last three years alone, Serve Colorado has secured $23.5 million in external funds through their partnerships, amplifying their impact and empowering them to serve communities with heightened efficacy. Under the leadership of Executive Director John Kelly, who received the 2022 ASC Innovation & Leadership Award for Outstanding Commission Executive Director, the team has launched several new programs, including the Colorado Tutoring Corps, the AmeriCorps Alternative Licensure Teacher Pathway program, the Colorado COVID Containment Response Corps—which won ASC’s 2021 Outstanding Service Program Award, the Colorado Healthcare Corps, the Colorado Climate Corps, and the first licensed apprenticeship AmeriCorps program in the state.

“We are deeply honored to be recognized as the winner in the Innovation in Partnerships category,” said John Kelly, Executive Director of Serve Colorado. “State agencies across Colorado are dedicated to mobilizing the citizens of Colorado to tackle our state’s biggest challenges. Serve Colorado seeks to facilitate partnerships to elevate that effort. This achievement is a celebration of the hard work and dedication of our team, as well as the collaborative spirit of the communities we serve.” 

Serve Colorado continues to invest in Colorado’s future workforce through programs that help service members launch meaningful careers, such as their Teacher Licensure pathway. Serve Colorado’s Teacher Licensure Program, a collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), the Colorado Education Initiative, Colorado Youth for a Change, and the Public Education and Business Coalition, operates with ESSER funding of $4.9 million. This program supports AmeriCorps members in earning their teacher licenses during their term of service, facilitating their transition into the education profession post-service, and helping address educator shortages in the state of Colorado. 

This past spring, in partnership with the Colorado National Guard, Serve Colorado signed a memorandum of understanding to promote joint program recruitment with the goal of creating a Guard-specific AmeriCorps service crew allowing service members to stack service benefits and invest in their careers. 

Serve Colorado’s win underscores its commitment to pioneering solutions and transformative impact. To learn more about Serve Colorado and its innovative partnerships, please visit