Officials from Maryland’s District 18 Announce A Wider Circle’s Participation In Maryland’s Groundbreaking Service Programs

Silver Spring, MD — December 1, 2023 — Maryland’s District 18 State Senator Jeff Waldstreicher, along with District 18 Delegates Jared Solomon, Emily Shetty, and Aaron Kaufman are excited to announce the participation of A Wider Circle as a host site for the inaugural class of Service Year Option and Maryland Corps members, a partnership with the Maryland Department of Service and Civic Innovation.

The Maryland Department of Service and Civic Innovation in its first year is expanding service and volunteerism statewide, creating new pathways of service to meet community needs, enhance workforce development, and promote preparedness for both higher and vocational education. Roles at the host sites can range from academic tutoring, assisting in healthcare facilities, advancing public safety, to taking up environment conservation projects. 

Based in Silver Spring and with a focus on anti-poverty programming, A Wider Circle serves thousands of individuals annually through its programs that provide furniture and basic necessities, career counseling and workshops, and neighborhood-focused support. The organization also hosts nearly 10,000 volunteers annually.

“We’re beyond excited to roll out these programs,” said Paul Monteiro, Maryland’s Secretary of Service and Civic Innovation, “they’re not just about offering opportunities but linking service, education, and job readiness into a unified, powerful experience.”

“The Maryland Service Corps is providing a unique opportunity for young people in our community to partner with incredible nonprofits. Through this partnership, corps members are serving the community in immeasurable ways, while these current and future leaders gain invaluable experiences,” shared Emily Shetty, District 18 Delegate. “The District 18 Delegation is honored to have four incredibly talented corps members placed at A Wider Circle, a gem in Montgomery County and the East Coast, that is lifting so many families out of poverty every day. We know that the experience these young people are receiving will serve them well into their futures, and we are grateful for their commitment to service.”

“A Wider Circle is thrilled to host four participants in the Maryland Department of Service and Civic Innovation’s Service Year Option,” shared Amy Javaid, President and CEO of the organization. “This is a great opportunity to connect individuals seeking to serve their community with our programming to help advance equity across the region.”

“The launch of the Service Year Option and Maryland Corps Program represents a renewed commitment to cultivating opportunities and inspiring a spirit of service in Maryland, said Governor Wes Moore. “We’re not just launching programs; we’re connecting Marylanders to their communities and unlocking their potential in ways that will shape our collective future.”

About Maryland’s Service Year Option and Maryland Corps Programs

The Service Year Option is a service opportunity for young adults who recently completed high school. Members earn at least $15 an hour and work at least 30 hours a week. Members gain both hard and soft skills through a service placement aligned with their area of interest, in addition to working with support coaches to develop and refine their post-service plans—whether they include college, career, or continued service. 

Maryland Corps is a service opportunity for people of all ages. Like the Service Year Option, members earn a minimum of $15 dollars an hour working in organizations that provide job training and professional development. Program partnerships with both Maryland’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities and community colleges provide an additional level of collaboration and support for members, in addition to alignment with skilled trades and apprenticeship programs to facilitate transition into continued education or the workforce.

Following completion of their service year, participants in both programs will earn a completion award of $6,000 that may be accessed as a direct payment or as a deposit into a Maryland 529 Education Account for those pursuing their studies.

About A Wider Circle

A Wider Circle’s mission is to advance equity in the greater Washington, DC region by fostering the exchange of goods, skills, and connections from neighbor to neighbor, and by engaging in advocacy to address the root causes of poverty.

The organization was founded in 2001. It is headquartered in Silver Spring, MD, and also has a neighborhood hub in DC’s Ward 8. 


CONTACT: Beth Makal, Communications Manager


Join Our Circle

Sign up for email updates about our work, news, and events.