When I was 24 years old, my mentor, Eli Segal, asked to write an oath. It was for this new program called AmeriCorps, to help people see the power of service. Co-writing that AmeriCorps oath is one of the things I'm most proud of. I've see it uttered by Presidents Clinton, Bush, and today, President Obama, who administered it via simulcast as I was swearing in 1,000 people in Florida. There's no politics with this one. We all can serve and help others.
When I was 24 years old, my favorite line that I wrote was this one: "Where there is adversity, I will persevere." It's strong, defiant and never quits.
Today, 20 years later, I love this line just as much: "I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond."
Back then, it was a hope. Today, it's a reality.
Happy 20th anniversary, AmeriCorps. And thank you, Eli. In honor of this, go thank your own mentor or even the person who gave you your first real job.