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News & Events

New Website -  Civic has a new website! Please visit to see our most recent content. 
September 2, 2018  -  John McCain understood the common call to service that makes America truly great. "Let's follow the vision of the late Sen. John McCain by making a year of service - either in the military or civilian programs - a new rite of passage for all young Americans," write John Bridgeland and Alan Khazei, vice chairmen of the Service Year Alliance.  Read more here
August 28, 2018 -  Service Year Alliance Chairman, General Stanley McChrystal, fondly remembers Senator John McCain and his leadership in this recent Fortune article. Read here.
August 3, 2018 -  John Bridgeland is featured in a recent Washington Post article discussing the unprecedented lack of focus on the importance of service to our country. Read here.
August 2, 2018 -  John Bridgeland and Nicole Anderson from the AT&T Foundation collaborated to explain how corporations can help boost high school graduation rates through the GradNation campaign. Read here
July, 26, 2018 -  U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Todd Young (R-IN) have introduced legislation to improve access to and outcomes in higher education based on the recent report, Moneyball for Higher Education, by John Bridgeland and James Kvaal. Read more in the Results for America Press Release
July 10, 2018  -  Melody Barnes and John Bridgeland co-authored an op.ed on evidence-based education reform. Read here
June 19, 2018 -  John Bridgeland was a guest on WVXU public radio in Cincinnati, Ohio on the high school dropout challenge and the school to work pipeline.  He was joined by AT&T Director of External Affairs, Mark Romito.  Listen here
June 7, 2018 -  John Bridgeland and Carmel Martin co-author an op.ed entitled, "Education Inequity is Holding Back American Potential" published in The Hill. 
June 6, 2018 -  PBS NewsHour publishes an op.ed by John Bridgeland and other co-founders of the Grad Nation campaign on the deeper high school dropout challenge, found here
June 6, 2018  -  John and Fallon Bridgeland attend the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Service at Arlington National Cemetery. 
June 5, 2018  -  Ed Week features story on Building a Grad nation report with co-authors Jennifer DePaoli, John Bridgeland, Robert Balfanz, and Matthew Atwell. 
June 5, 2018 -  Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University release the 2018 Annual Update of Building a Grad Nation in partnership with America's Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education with lead sponsor AT&T and supporting sponsor Lumina Foundation. To read the full report, click here.
May 24, 2018 -  Civic CEO Bruce Reed and research associate Matthew Atwell release "The Rise of the Expert Economy," the first comprehensive study of the expert industry, which connects up to 1.5 million experts to companies in need of their knowledge or expertise. See the press release for more information and read the full report here.  
May 21, 2018  -  Commissioner John Bridgeland speaks on two panels at the Aspen Institute's National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. 

View Past Events

John Bridgeland gave the Keynote Address at the All Volunteer Force Symposium at the College of William and Mary

The Aspen Institute

Launch of the Future of Work Initiative

December 16, 2015:
The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program launched the Future of Work Initiative, co-chaired by Bruce Reed and John Bridgeland. The launch event featured a series of panel discussions with key voices in the conversation around independent workers, in the on-demand economy and beyond. Senator Mark Warner and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez joined the discussion.

Virginia Governor's Higher Education Presidents' Summit on the Service Year

October 4th & 5th, 2015:
The Governor and First Lady of Virginia host the first ever Virginia Governor's Higher Education Presidents' Summit on Service Year at the College of William & Mary. The Franklin Project at The Aspen Institute envisions a day when a year of national service is an opportunity for every young American. University and college presidents gathered for a two day summit to consider how higher education institutions in Virginia can take the lead in that effort.

2015 Aspen Ideas Festival

The Power of Youth Panel

June 30, 2015:
Young adults throughout the US are volunteering — at all ages — and at such a level that as a group, they are now known for their generosity of spirit and dedication to social progress. How can we help build an infrastructure to continue to grow that momentum? What can we do to engage more youth in an active commitment to giving back to their country? How can we keep them engaged once they have demonstrated an interest in serving their communities? Activist leaders of the global movement, We Day, and the national service initiative, The Franklin Project, share their plans.

John Bridgeland
Craig Kielburger
Stephen Patrick, Moderator
Thomas J. Wilson

A Report by Civic Enterprises and Everyone Graduates Center at John Hopkins University

2015 Building a Grad Nation Report

May 12, 2015:
Released annually, the 2015 Annual Update of Building a Grad Nation shows detailed progress toward the GradNation Campaign's goal of a national on-time graduation rate of 90 percent by 2020. This year, the national high school graduation rate hit a record high of 81.4 percent, and for the third year in a row, the nation remained on pace to meet this goal.

This report is released in partnership with America's Promise Alliance and Alliance for Excellent Education, with AT&T and Target as the lead and supporting sponsor.

Report Launch at the 2015 Act & Align Convening of Leaders:

Featured Media:
Huffington Post, "Education as a Data Driven Enterprise"

The Fresno Bee, "Graduating Toward an America Rich in Opportunity"

The Hill, "Moneyball for Dropout Prevention"

The Atlantic, "Where Dropping Out is Going Up"

WFYI Indianapolis, No Limits Radio Show

The Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book series feat. John Bridgeland and Peter Orszag

Moneyball for Government

January 21, 2015 - The Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series features Peter Orszag, former director of the Office of Management and Budget and John Bridgeland, former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council discussing their latest book Moneyball for Government.

About Moneyball for Government:
Can data, evidence, and evaluation revolutionize America’s government? Can we build the evidence necessary to determine which practices, policies, and programs work and which don’t; invest in those that work most effectively; and shift resources away from those that consistently fail to achieve desired outcomes? In short, can government play Moneyball? This book is about changing the way government works – so that policy and funding decisions by governments at all levels are informed by the best possible data, evidence, and evaluation about what works. We believe this can be achieved in a bipartisan way. For proof, look no further than the great leaders and thinkers from across the political spectrum who have joined together in this book to help make the case for Moneyball for Government.

To buy a copy of the book, click here.

The Clinton Global Initiative announces $11 million commitment to the Service Year Effort

September 22, 2014 - At the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, the National Service Alliance—which includes The Franklin Project, ServiceNation, the National Conference on Citizenship, and Voices for National Service—joined former President Bill Clinton and Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton to announce amajor commitment to expand national service in America. Building on the 20-year success of AmeriCorps, Service Year is a bold project designed to make a year of service a common expectation and opportunity for all 18-28 year olds.

John Bridgeland Announces Launch of

June 18, 2014 - During the closing plenary at the 2014 Points of Light Conference on Volunteering and Service, Civic Enterprises CEO, John Bridgeland, announced the launch of

About Points of Light:
Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, mobilizes millions of people to take action and change the world. To bring the power where it’s needed the most, Points of Light inspires more people to become volunteers, increases the impact of volunteer service, equips volunteers to solve specific problems, and creates a culture that encourages volunteerism.

June 6, 2014 - The Summit at Gettysburg was convened by the Franklin Project, in partnership with Voices for National Service, ServiceNation, and the National Conference on Citizenship. With leaders convening from all across the country, the Summit worked to advance the "big" idea:  that national service would be voluntary, but expected, in the military or as a civilian for a full year or more at modest pay, and a rite of passage for every young American.

Watch the videos of the Gettysburg Summit below:

Learn more about the partners:

Graduation Success

Early Intervention Drives Graduation Success

The path to dropout starts early. So the earlier a struggling student is identified, ideally before they enter high school, the better the chances in shifting the odds for success in school, work and life. But that identification must be based on the right data. One effective starting point is identifying the middle and elementary schools that “feed” into the lowest-performing high schools.

United Way Worldwide, Civic Enterprises, and Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University have developed a guide to help you and your community partners identify school feeder patterns – and help your community begin the critical discussion on using that data to boost graduation rates.

This Guide can help you and your community partners:

  • Understand the graduation crisis and effectively convey the rationale for identifying and using school feeder pattern data
  • Understand your community’s education landscape
  • Find out where to access key education national, state, and local information and data
  • Know how graduation rates are calculated and determine your community’s graduation rates
  • Identify feeder school patterns in your community
  • Use school feeder pattern data for greater impact in your community

Download the guide here, and use these tips and this flyer with your board, key volunteers who care about education, partners, funded agencies, and other community stakeholders. If you missed the April 24th webinar focused on school feeder patterns and featuring Bob Balfanz, the nation’s premier researcher on high school dropout on this topic, click here to view the archived Webinar.

Grad Nation Guidebook

Updated Grad Nation Community Guidebook Released

Provides Roadmap For Community Efforts To Increase High School Graduation Rates

May 16, 2013 – Civic Enterprises in partnership with America’s Promise Alliance and The Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, released the newest version of the Community Guidebook, a research-based toolkit for communities working to raise graduation rates and better support children and youth from birth through college. The guidebook offers approaches and tools that all communities—regardless of their size, location and challenges—can incorporate at any stage in their work.

The guidebook compiles current research and outlines proven solutions and best practices including school and community interventions, for raising graduation rates. It provides a comprehensive framework to help communities design local dropout prevention efforts as well as 16 downloadable tools that communities can use immediately including tools to determine the actual graduation rate and dropout profile of the community, establish an early warning system and attendance tracker, analyze student and school performance and conduct an assessment of individual and organizational assets and the current policy landscape. The guidebook also includes links to other important and impactful resources that communities can use in their work.

The Community Guidebook is a free, entirely electronic resource available at 
Check out Education Week's piece on the Community Guidebook here.

Teachers Endorse Social And Emotional Learning As “The Missing Piece” Of Educational Puzzle In Civic Enterprises’ Newly Released Report

May 15, 2013 – Civic Enterprises releases the most comprehensive social and emotional (SEL) research report of late, The Missing Piece: A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools. The report, commissioned by CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning, is the centerpiece of an annual gathering of national education leaders, who convene today in Chicago to discuss the report’s implications and how to move forward based on its findings.

The Missing Piece shares the findings from a nationally representative sample of 605 educators from preschool through 12th grade. The survey reveals that teachers across America believe social and emotional learning is critical to student success in school, work, and life and that teachers think SEL can and should be taught to all students regardless of background and personal circumstances. To support the findings, the report also incorporates case studies of schools successfully implementing SEL, conversations with leading educational thinkers, and a review of SEL literature.

With the knowledge that teachers want and need social and emotional learning and strong examples of implementation in action, we must act to ensure that teachers are supported in this important work, and students are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in school, work and life.

The full report can be found here and the official press release here
Check out "The Missing Piece" in EdWeek and the Huffington Post!

Civic Enterprises' CEO Gets Published

John Bridgeland, Civic Enterprises' CEO, recently published his first book, Heart of the Nation: Volunteering and America's Civic Spirit. The book traces America's volunteer tradition- the golden thread of American democracy- and how Presidents from Washington to Obama have called on citizens to serve neighbor and nation. From the bunker below the White House on 9/11 to villages in Africa, John Bridgeland shares his own experiences inside and outside of government to spark more Americans to participate in service. He compellingly argues that such service is fundamental to our own happiness and to what the Founding Fathers envisioned when they talked about the "pursuit of Happiness" in the Declaration of Independence. Bridgeland helps the reader discover their own service mission and issues a rallying cry to the nation to heal our partisan divisions by joining together across party lines to address our toughest challenges. Heart of the Nation is being sold in bookstores as well as online.

Hear John Bridgeland speak about his book and its message below:
The Dove
Charlotte's Morning News with Don Russell
The Bill Martinez Show 
WIOD News Radio

Count Us In! Launching Attendance Awareness Month Across The Nation Webinar

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
1:00 - 2:15pm Eastern Time

Register here by Monday, April 8!

Back to school is a critical time for sending the message that attending school every day counts during the school year. Join us in making this September Attendance Awareness Month in communities throughout the nation. Attend this webinar to find out how YOU can get involved! Chronic absence— missing 10% of the school year or just 2-3 days every month—can translate into 3rd graders unable to master reading, 6th graders failing courses and eventually even 9th graders dropping out of high school. The impact is the greatest on low-income students who lack the resources to make up for the lost time in the classroom. Together we can help students and families recognize how quickly absences add up to too much lost time in the classroom.

This webinar will highlight leaders in three cities – Baltimore, Los Angeles and New York – who have rallied parents, schools, city agencies, nonprofits, businesses and elected officials in their communities to promote and improve student attendance. They will share examples of how they have improved attendance and have given thousands of students a greater opportunity to learn and succeed.

The webinar will also feature specific tactics, as well as a set of online resources, to help you reach out to your community about Attendance Awareness Month, including ideas for special events, contests, proclamations, sample news releases, public service announcements, flyers, videos and more! Can we count on you to help?

Hedy Chang Director, Attendance Works
Debra Duardo Interim Executive Director, Student Health & Human Services, Los Angeles
Unified School District
Kimberly Manns Program Director, Baltimore Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Peter Goldwasser Chief Program Officer, Office of Policy & Strategic Planning,Office of the
Mayor, City of New York

The proud organizing partners of Attendance Awareness Month include:
Civic Enterprises
Attendance Works
America’s Promise Alliance
Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Points of Light Institute 

For more information about Attendance Awareness Month and to sign up to receive emails about this
initiative, visit

Grad Nation 2013

Building A Grad Nation: 2013 Annual Update Released

2013 Building A Grad Nation Report 
2013 Annual Update in the News 
Press Release

The nation’s work to improve graduation rates took a significant leap forward according to a report released today by Civic Enterprises partnership with Civic Enterprisesthe Everyone Graduates Center,America’s Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education.   Civic Enterprises CEO, John Bridgeland, presented the report at the fourth Grad Nation Summit in Washington, D.C. to a crowd of nearly 1,000 leaders in business, education, academia, philanthropy, civic engagement, media and public policy. The annual report found that for the first time the U.S. is on track to meet the national Grad Nation goal of a 90 percent high school graduation rate by the class of 2020. The national high school graduation rate increased 6.5 percentage points since 2001 with an average growth of 1.25 percentage points each year from 2006-2010 to 78.2.  As a result of this acceleration more than 200,000 additional students received diplomas in 2010 than in 2006.   The report shows that two states, Wisconsin and Vermont, already have a graduation rate of 90 percent.   Twenty states are on pace to reach 90 percent by 2020. Seven states need to accelerate progress, and 23 are off pace to reach the goal.

The report shows, while there is no one solution, the acceleration of graduation rate increases coincided with the onset of targeted education reform efforts in the mid 2000’s. During that time, active and sustained dropout prevention efforts in a few big cities began to spread more broadly while researchers, foundations, governors, policymakers, school districts, communities, businesses and others came together in an unprecedented mobilization around the dropout crisis. In addition, better data and its usage, combined with heightened awareness of the problem, its impact and solutions along with a renewed focus on high quality instruction, accountability, and alternative pathways to graduation became more main stream. A combination of all this resulted in increases in student and school achievement.

Check out the video that kicked off this years summit below!

Civic Enterprises CEO, John Bridgeland speaking at the 2013 Building a Grad Nation Summit in Washington, D.C. 


Ambassadors Host Cocktail Gala In Support Of EARTH University

February 13, 2013

John Bridgeland kicked off the One Night, One EARTH cocktail gala at the  Organization of American States, co-chaired by Ambassador Muni Figueres of  Costa Rica and Ambassador of Costa Rica to the OAS, Edgar Ugalde. The event was  attended by nearly 300 guests, Ambassadors and Representatives from a dozen  Latin American and African countries, four U.S. Senators and Members of  Congress, and officials from U.S. AID and NASA.  EARTH University in Costa Rica  offers a four year rigorous undergraduate program in sustainable agriculture and  natural resource management that draws students from throughout Latin America,  the Caribbean and Africa.  Civic Enterprises' Fellow Lily Rubino spent six months  organizing this event. To learn more about EARTH visit their website, click here.

Aspen Institute Launches the Franklin Project

The Franklin Project, a new initiative at the Aspen Institute, held its first meeting on November 30, bringing together a diverse mix of leaders from national service, military, business, and philanthropic organizations to marshal the best case for a voluntary civilian counterpart to military service in the United States. Inspired by General Stanley McChrystal's call for large-scale civilian national service at the Aspen Ideas Festival last summer, more than 40 participants met for the day to discuss new ideas to expand national service to be a civilian counterpart to military service. The meeting was led by John Bridgeland, Alan Khazei, and Harris Wofford, and hosted by Walter Isaacson and Elliot Gerson of the Aspen Institute.  

We believe engaging leaders in the military offers a fresh perspective, together with leaders in business, nonprofits, faith-based institutions, academia, and communities to support large-scale civilian service at a time of national division when the entrepreneurial energy of citizens must be harnessed to help solve our public problems and bring people of different perspectives together. The project will have key milestones, including a Civilian Service Summit on June 25, 2013 as the signature lead-in event to the Aspen Ideas Festival from June 26-29.

Left to right: Steve Culbertson, Walter Isaacson, Sam Ayres, Martin Rodgers, and John Bridgeland

Left to right: Walter Isaacson and Sam Ayres

Left to right: Fred Yang, Will Marshall, and Rob Gordon

Stan Litow addresses meeting participants

Left to right: Kirsten Lodal, Harris Wofford, and Carrie Hessler-Radelet

Left to right: Melody Barnes, Ken Harbaugh, and Steve Culbertson

Left to right: Phil Kaplan, General Stanley McChrystal, Sam Ayres, 
Alan Khazei, Walter Isaacson, and John Bridgeland.

Breakfast With The Ambassador

EARTH University's President's Advisory Board member, John Bridgeland (fourth from right), met with Costa Rican Ambassador to the U.S., Muni Figueres (second from left) in Washington DC in November 2012. Mr. Bridgeland was joined by Former President of Costa Rica and Chair of the Carbon War Room, Jose Maria Figueres (far left), and President of EARTH University, Dr. Jose Zaglul, (second from right).  The briefing brought together key officials representing nations from which EARTH students are drawn including several Ambassadors from both Latin America and Africa, to share EARTH's story and engage the countries' in EARTH's upcoming event in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Bridgeland is leading the effort to plan the benefit gala, which will be held on February 13, 2013 at the Organization of American States. To learn more about EARTH University and their educational model see here.

Building A Grad Nation: 2012 Annual Update Released

2012 Grad Nation Report
Press Release 
Grad Nation In the News

The nation continues to make progress to end the dropout crisis, according to a report released today by Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center, America’s Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education. The 2012 Annual Update of Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the Dropout Epidemic report was release Monday, March 19 in conjunction with the Building a Grad Nation Summit held in Washington DC.

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