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Emma Brenneman

10 inch nails

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

building stairs 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 disastchainsaw certificationers, 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.

building stairs at high elevations







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

alpine 2 team at rocky mtn natl park