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Obama signs a $5.7 billion service bill, encourages volunteers.

President Barack Obama signed a $5.7 billion national service bill Tuesday to encourage Americans to volunteer, which also expands ways for college students to make money.

The legislation triples the size of the AmeriCorps service program over the next eight years.

AmeriCorps offers a range of volunteer opportunities including housing construction, youth outreach, disaster response and caring for the elderly. Most students receive an annual salary of nearly $12,000 for working 10 months to a year.

"We need your service, right now, in this moment…. I am asking you to stand up and play your part," said Obama, a former community organizer in Chicago.

"All that's required on your part is a willingness to make a difference," Obama said. "That is the beauty of it, everybody can do it."

Obama also nominated Nike Inc. vice president Maria Eitel Tuesday to lead the federal agency that oversees the country's national service programs.

Eitel , the president of the Nike Foundation, would be confirmed by the Senate to become CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

AmeriCorps has been a recent surge in applications according to the Corporation for National and Community Service.

In March, the organization received 17,038 online applications, nearly double those received in the previous month and triple the 6,770 received last March.

Students from sixth grade through senior year of high school could earn a $500 education award for helping in their neighborhoods during a new summer program.

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Title Annotation:community services program
Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 21, 2009
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