In recognition of his support for national service, John Albright, a voluntary commissioner and vice chair of the Missouri Community Service Commission, was awarded the National Service Advocate of the Year Award by Voices for National Service, a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions, who work to ensure Americans of all ages have the opportunity to serve and volunteer in their community.
The National Service Advocate of the Year Award honors members within the national service community for their efforts to advocate for national service programs – such as AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, VISTA, and the Social Innovation Fund – as well as for national service funding.
John Albright joins a bipartisan group of distinguished leaders in government, business and journalism from across the nation being honored, including Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, CSX Corporation Chairman Michael Ward, and Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne.
Missouri Mayors Sly James (Kansas City) and Francis Slay (St. Louis) will receive Local Leadership Awards in recognition of their leadership and innovation in leveraging AmeriCorps and other national service programs to meet local needs.
The awards were formally presented in Washington, DC at the 13th Annual Friends of National Service Awards on February 9, 2016.  
“John Albright made a tremendous difference this year, personally activating Missouri elected officials across the state in the fight to protect and increase national service funding,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President, Voices for National Service.  “We are grateful to John for his relentless engagement and mobilization, and we know we could not have accomplished what we did as a community without his extraordinary contributions.”
“I stand in support of national service funding for such programs as AmeriCorps.  I have served in close fellowship with AmeriCorps State members during the last seven years,” said John Albright.  “AmeriCorps members are not only providing help through good works in Missouri communities but are also engaged in conveying hope. I’m honored to receive this award and reminded of the words of former South Africa Ambassador James Joseph, who said, ‘…the gift of hope is as big a gift as the gift of life itself.’”
Honorees were selected based on recognition and support for national service as a solution to some of the nation’s most pressing challenges.  Each award winner has helped to raise public awareness of national service and elevate national service as a legislative priority.  
National service is a cost-effective strategy for engaging citizens, improving communities, and strengthening the nation.  In communities across the country, national service members provide critical services to fulfill unmet needs. National service members tutor and mentor struggling students, help Americans lead healthier lives, provide job training and other services to returning veterans, preserve the nation’s parks and public lands, offer disaster relief and recovery assistance, and support independent living for seniors and Americans with disabilities.  For every federal dollar invested in national service, there are returns to society of nearly four dollars in terms of higher earnings, increased output, and other community-wide benefits.
State Service Commissions are vital links in the chain that translates national service dollars and initiatives into local results.  
The 13th Annual Friends of National Service Awards is sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal, and CSX.