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FARMINGTON — Two AmeriCorps programs that operate on the Navajo Nation will receive AmeriCorps grants to continue their services.

AmeriCorps is a national service program whose members serve rural and urban communities across the country. Members focus on mentoring youth, helping veterans access services, responding to disasters and building affordable housing.

U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, both Democrats, announced the grant funding in a press release issued Friday.

Shiprock Chapter, Nenahnezad Chapter and Santo Domingo Pueblo will share $180,387 in grants.

Shiprock Chapter received the most funding, $88,922. The chapter plans to use the money to support 16 AmeriCorps members who help local veterans and their families and work to improve land and waterways.

Nenahnezad Chapter will receive $62,463 to support 12 AmeriCorps members. Among the members' focus is promoting physical activity by improving a walking path and organizing activities for youth and community members.

Santo Domingo Pueblo, which is located between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, will receive $29,002 to develop an AmeriCorps program at the pueblo.

Both senators stated their appreciation for the funding in the press release.

Udall said the program helps communities in New Mexico and provides AmeriCorps members leadership experience.

"I'm excited to welcome new AmeriCorps members to Shiprock, Nenahnezad and soon to Santo Domingo Pueblo. Their work will make a lasting difference to our veterans, youth and tribal communities," Udall said.

Heinrich shared Udall's sentiments.

"As a former AmeriCorps volunteer in New Mexico, I know first-hand that there is no venture more rewarding than working to improve the lives of those around us," Heinrich said.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 and nsmith@daily-times.com. Follow her @nsmithdt on Twitter.

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