I spent two years serving my country with AmeriCorps. In return, Uncle Sam sent me a bill.

Every year young Americans heed the signal to serve their country — volunteering their blood, sweat, and tears to the promise of a nation that’s stronger and more prosperous.

Some of these heroes clothe themselves in the colors of the Armed Forces, but other patriots still answer the call of duty through national service, sometimes devoting years working to address critical economic, educational, and health care needs of communities all across the country.

I was among them, and spent two exhausting years serving in California schools to put the American dream within reach for all kids no matter their station.

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