Lawrence High School graduate Jason Goolsby was looking for a job in a classroom.
President Clinton was looking for a troop of young Americans willing to work for their country.
On Thursday, they shook hands in the East Room of the White House, where the president swore in Goolsby and about 45 other volunteers for the 2-year-old AmeriCorps national service program, sometimes referred to as the domestic Peace Corps.
"I figured it would be a good experience for me," said Goolsby, 20, a 1993 LHS graduate and a former wide receiver on the Lawrence High football team. He moved to Washington, D.C., after earning an associate's degree in education this spring from Coffeyville Community College.
"I wanted to get involved with the community," he said Thursday after the ceremony with the president.
AmeriCorps sends workers into projects involving education, public safety, the environment and human needs, including health, homelessness, housing, childhood immunizations and counseling projects.
The projects include performing environmental cleanups, building homeless shelters and tutoring children.
For the past month, Goolsby has been working for AmeriCorps in Lincoln Multicultural Middle School in northwest Washington, where he and about 20 volunteers work as tutors and mentors for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders who are considered at risk.
"They just need somebody to talk to, somebody to hang out with," Goolsby said. "It's great, it's wonderful seeing the little kids and the smiles on their faces."
The AmeriCorps workers receive small stipends and credits they can apply toward college expenses or student loan debts after a year of service.
Goolsby said he plans to go to college after his AmeriCorps service.