Reporting by Courtney Kueppers, DC intern

WASHINGTON -- Minnesota received 19 fresh Americorps grants worth $21 million on Tuesday.

Sen. Al Franken, who made the announcement in a conference call with Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer, said the grants will help Minnesota's reputation of being a highly active AmeriCorps volunteer state continue. Seventeen local organizations will receive new money.

AmeriCorps, a federal government program, places thousands of young adults into service programs every year.

From helping students graduate high school to cleaning up the environment and fighting poverty, Franken said AmeriCorps volunteers provide a variety of services for Minnesota. 

“People who do this work are learning about the world around them and they are helping communities,” Franken said. “It also empowers them to be more engaged citizens in our democracy.”

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