|First “Pathways” Student Started as CYCA/BLM Intern
CYCA is pleased to announce that Michael Troyer of Pueblo, an intern with CYCA’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Internship Program, is the first Colorado student to be hired by the U.S. government’s “Pathways to Federal Careers” program.
Rock On at Red Rocks
The Pathways program replaces the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP). It is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore federal careers while getting paid. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent job in the civil service.
As a Pathways student in the BLM’s Royal Gorge field office in Canon City, Michael is developing the skills he learned through his BLM internship, and applying them in a real-world work environment. He is conducting cultural resources inventory of BLM lands that will be used for a project being proposed by the Department of Defense–Fort Carson, as well as myriad other work assignments. This work perfectly complements Michael’s graduate studies in archaeology at Colorado State University-Fort Collins, where he is currently working on his master’s thesis.
According to Monica Weimer, an archaeologist with the BLM’s Royal Gorge field office, Michael arrived with an enthusiasm for learning, and a willingness to work in whatever capacity he was needed.
“Michael immediately demonstrated his abilities in the field, was very dependable, and fit very naturally into the culture of the office – working well with all the employees as well as with the public,” she said. Mile High Youth Corps-Colorado Springs connected Michael with the BLM’s internship program in summer 2012 in coordination with his advisor at CSU.
Michael intends to pursue permanent employment with the BLM or another land management agency upon completing his master’s degree, and feels his experiences are preparing him for just such a career path. All of his current projects are archaeology related – both historic and prehistoric in nature – and range from doing surveys and managing review processes, to inventorying and developing management plans.
In addition to providing valuable hands-on experience, the internship allowed Michael to build his professional network within the archaeological community and foster relationships with the State Historic Preservation office, the BLM state office, cultural resource contractors working on BLM lands, and other federal archaeologists.
“My skills will be pretty marketable nationally. Ideally I’ll get a job with the BLM but I could work for any of the federal agencies. I feel very fortunate,” said Michael. “Getting into the government workforce is a challenge, so it’s a huge relief to be offered a job as Pathways student.”
The Mile High Youth Corps’ fall forestry crew recently spent multiple weeks installing a stairway path at Red Rocks Park. The former social trail, which was created over time from constant foot traffic, had long been known as a hazard to both concert attendees and hikers alike. The crew dealt with many challenges during the project and had to put their problem-solving abilities to the test when arranging large boulders to form rock walls and deciding how to get numerous buckets of filler dirt and rock down a steep mountainside.
In all, the crew installed 77 stair steps, positioned more than 400 feet of riprap, and transported nearly three tons of rock, gravel and dirt! Indeed, it is a small price to pay to enable future visitors to enjoy the beauty of Red Rocks. With the help of Denver Mountain Parks, the area will now serve as a safe and sustainable route to the Upper North Lot – giving “rock on!” a new meaning.
VISTA Gathering Moves Mountains in Estes Park
This year the 2012 CYCA VISTA retreat proved to be a meaningful experience. From October 15 - 17, a group of 20 Good Works for Youth AmeriCorps VISTA members arrived at a little piece of Colorado paradise, the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the group lodge was the perfect place to learn, eat, and retreat.
VISTA members shared their goals and concerns with Lexi Prigge, CYCA’s VISTA leader, and Scott Segerstrom, CYCA’s associate director. They also heard from former VISTA leader, Amelia Iaderosa, who inspired the team to step out of their comfort zones and embrace personal successes throughout their VISTA year. Each VISTA member also spoke about his or her individual projects, brainstorm ideas with other members, and request resources from other VISTAs.
But the retreat was about more than learning to be a better VISTA and combating poverty. Members were given ample time for recreation and networking - playing basketball, hiking, cooking group meals, and simply getting to know each other. They even played a rousing game of “spoons” - no injuries reported!
Good Works for Youth AmeriCorps VISTA is a program of CYCA, and 21 VISTA members are serving at 16 host sites across Colorado. The goal of Good Works for Youth AmeriCorps VISTA is to improve and increase services for youth living in poverty and to connect these young people to their communities and environment.
Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief: Southwest Conservation Corps Deploys Crews
Immediately following Hurricane Sandy’s touch down late last month, Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) began creating a special response crew of former SCC leaders and members to assist with shelter operations and debris clean-up. On November 9, a crew left Denver for New York City, where it will be primarily helping to run FEMA Hurricane Assistance Shelters and is scheduled to remain for 30 days.
This crew is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service’s effort to deploy more than 968 national service members from around the country to Hurricane Sandy-impacted regions. SCC is one of the first AmeriCorps groups in the state of Colorado to respond by sending volunteers to these hard hit areas. Because of the tremendous need for assistance, SCC anticipates sending additional crews from its Durango and Tucson, Arizona offices in the upcoming months. Wish them luck!
Colorado Gives Day is Dec. 4! 100% of Your Donation Goes to CYCA
Colorado Gives Day 2012, the third Colorado Gives Day, will take place during a 24-hour period on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. We hope CYCA is on your list of nonprofits to support this year! One hundred percent of your online donation that day will support our work to engage youth and young adults in meaningful land, water and energy conservation projects while developing work and life skills. Community First Foundation and FirstBank partnered on Colorado Gives Day for the last two years, distributing $8.7 million to Colorado nonprofits in 2010 and $12.8 million in 2011. Let’s make 2012 another great year for Colorado’s nonprofits.
Don’t want to wait until Dec 4? Log in to the Colorado Gives Day website today and pre-schedule your donation to CYCA. Thank you for your support!
Shop Online with GoodShop and Support CYCA
It’s easy and does not cost you anything! Simply go to GoodSearch and search for Colorado Youth Corps Association. Then find the online retailer of your choice – there are thousands to choose from – and start shopping.
CYCA receives from 1%-5% of your total purchases. GoodShop even offers coupons so you might even save a bit of money. Happy Shopping!
Save the Date: Feb. 4
This year’s Youth Corps Awards Ceremony at the State Capitol will be held on February 4, 2013. Mark your calendars – and stay tuned for more details to come.