Born and raised in Eugene, and having recently graduated from the UO with a BA in Spanish and Geography, I knew it was time to get out. I absolutely loved college (staying up too late to study but still feeling unprepared, meeting new, exotic people [Californians], accidentally buying shrimp ramen when I wanted chicken…) and I was scared when that would be over and I would be asking myself, what was my next step? I didn’t want to stagnate after college; I wanted to give back. I almost felt selfish
throughout college- everything I did was for my grade, my degree, my future. This realization helped me to find my next step: AmeriCorps’ NCCC.
AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps is a full-time, residential, national service program. 2,000 young adults, all aged 18-24 years old, serve nationwide annually working on a variety of different six-to-twelve-week-long projects related to natural disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship
and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. As a Corps Member, I am just starting my 10 months and 1,700 hours of service in the United States. I am based out of the NCCC Southwest Region campus in Denver, CO. My team, “Alpine 2” is currently ‘on spike’, or working near Divide, CO (elev. 10,000, *gasping*) with Habitat for Humanity of Teller County for six weeks. We are building two homes from the ground up for families in need and assisting in a series of neighborhood revitalization projects. I have met so many wonderful people from all over the country, and everything I have done has been so hands on, which is a wonderful change. It is fantastic to directly see the impact of my effort in the community and feel satisfied after a long day of work. I can’t wait to see where else our team will travel and what other types of projects we’ll complete after the winter break.
In exchange for their service, Corps Members receive $5,775 to help pay for college, or to pay back existing student loans. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, travel, and leadership development. For more information about AmeriCorps’ NCCC, visit the website at www.americorps.gov/nccc.