CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) — When it comes to enrolling in AmeriCorps, West Virginia residents rank #2 in the nation, according to new data released by the Corporation for National and Community Service or CNCS.

In West Virginia, AmeriCorps programs are implemented by Volunteer West Virginia, the State’s Commission for National and Community Service.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the AmeriCorps program and Volunteer West Virginia. According to the organization, in that time more than 13,000 residents of West Virginia have given more than 20 million hours of service to West Virginia and received more than $34 million in scholarships.

“It is an opportunity to serve for a year, in exchange you get a living allowance and money to go back to school,” said Volunteer West Virginia’s Dana Bryant.

Bryant added, “More importantly while you are serving, you are creating these roots and giving back to the community.”

AmeriCorps members can be found throughout the Mountain State tackling the state’s toughest challenges — from mentoring youth in after school programs to increase access to healthy and local food.

There are many AmeriCorps programs in West Virginia including AmeriCorps on the Frontline, Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area, Energy Express, Grow Ohio Valley, High Rocks, LifeBridge AmeriCorps, Appalachia HealthCorps, Preserve West Virginia, Step by Step Strength Corps, and WVU Collaborative Direct AmeriCorps.

Ashley Current is a volunteer with Step by Step Strength Corps. For the last year, she has been mentoring kids on Charleston’s West Side.

“They mean the world to me,” said Current “This whole experience is really hard to put into words. It, the community, these kids, all mean so much to me.”