Sec. Monteiro Urges Eastern Shore Participation in Maryland Corps/Service Year Option


The Secretary of Service and Civic Innovation met with Washington College Representatives and Local Leaders While Visiting Kent County

Sec. Monteiro and his Chief of Staff meet with Adam Goodheart of Washington College's Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience

Maryland Secretary of Service and Civic Innovation Paul Monteiro, Jr. stopped by Washington College on Thursday to encourage broader Kent County participation in the Maryland Corps/Service Year Option available through the recently formed state department. Since Governor Wes Moore signed the Serving Every Region Through Vocational Exploration Act (SERVE Act) last spring, Monteiro has been hitting the road to make potential Service Year participants, as well as hopeful Host Site Partners, aware of the first-in-the nation program’s benefits and to encourage volunteerism and civic engagement, a priority of Moore’s administration.  

Maryland Corps/Service Year Option offers folks over 18 years old a unique opportunity to spend a year immersed in professional growth and career exploration by giving participants the chance to work with businesses and organizations throughout the state. Members earn a living wage, gain new skills, and identify where their talents and purpose intersect, all while serving their local community with fellow Marylanders. Job training, an on-site mentor, and resources to be successful, including personal money management training, are also part of the program. Upon successful completion, members earn $6,000 to use toward continuing education tuition costs or as a cash stipend. Currently recruiting for its second year, the program is looking to build a new cohort of more than 500 members from across Maryland. 

"This first-in-the-nation program offers a transformative year of service to people of all backgrounds," said Monteiro. "Members will simultaneously build up their communities even as they determine next steps in their professional development."  

The Secretary’s stop at the College was part of a larger tour of Kent County and was coordinated with the assistance of Thomas V. Miller Director of Civic Engagement Pat Nugent, Student Government Association President Miranda Parrish ‘25, the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, and the Holstein Program in Ethics. After chatting with every high school senior at Kent County High School, the Secretary met with several College administrators and faculty members as well as business, organization and local government leaders on the benefits of becoming Host Site Partners. Representatives from Rebuilding Together Kent County, YMCA of the Chesapeake, Minary’s Dream Alliance, and others were present, along with Chestertown Mayor David Foster. Housing and transportation issues in Kent County, and interest in the wrap-around services provided by the program, highlighted the conversation.  

“As the Executive Director of a very small nonprofit, I am thrilled that the Governor has made the Maryland Service Corps a priority,” said Genevieve Croker of Rebuilding Together Kent County, whose organization is currently undertaking a housing survey throughout the county. “His staff seems to have given thoughtful consideration to the barriers that all employers are currently facing and are working to find practical solutions that draw on existing resources and proactively troubleshooting challenges. Coupled with our small county population and the trend of out-migration after high school, finding quality, service-oriented staff has prevented Rebuilding Together and, I imagine, organizations like ours from increasing our impact. I welcome the opportunity to apply to be a host site and look forward to working with other partners to make this program a success in Kent County!" 

M.Parrish Sec. Monteiro T.Hertzel P.Nugent“I was thrilled when I learned of the opportunity to host the Secretary and his Chief of Staff to share information for the new Maryland Serves program,” said Parrish. “There were so many community members that were able to attend and hopefully there will be many new partnerships that will come from this. While we originally planned to host this event in the fall, this event came together with the help of many people, and I am grateful to be a part of the team that was able to connect everyone together.” 

Nugent was impressed by the event’s turnout. “Kent County is agile, caring, and tightly connected. The state called and we responded the only way we know how—with deep commitment and creativity for coming together to make this place a better and more just place to live. It is really great to see such interest from Washington College and the local community in expanding opportunities for our county’s youth while working to build a more service-minded workforce in partnership with the state of Maryland.”   

To learn more about the Office of Service and Civic Innovation, or to apply to the program as a member or Service host, head to 

- Dominique Ellis Falcon