CYCA thanks everyone who supported us on Colorado Gives Day! It was our best year ever - we raised 23% more than last year.Donations will help advance the youth conservation corps movement and give more young people a life-changing youth corps experience. If you weren’t able to give on December 10, but would still like to, click here to make a quick and easy on-line donation. Thank you for your generosity!
Oh, What a Night!
Thanks to the youth corps friends and champions who joined us on November 14 for our Fall Friends Reception. Photographer John Fielder was on hand with a photo show and book signing, and Jenny Pham, Mile High Youth Corps member, wowed the crowd with her life story (see below). Special thanks to John Fielder for donating a portion of his book sales to CYCA, and also to our silent auction sponsors: Great Outdoors Colorado, Aspen Skiing Company, Pink Fog Studios, and Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Photo: John Fielder shows off his nature photography and speaks about the importance of young people getting involved in protecting our state's natural resources
Service and Sustainability Inspire Jenny Pham
Excerpt from Jenny Pham's Nov 14 speech:
"My name is Jenny Pham. I am 25 years old and I have been a corpsmember at Mile High Youth Corps for about a year. I am currently an undergraduate studying at the University of Colorado-Denver for a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in sustainability. My family came to the United States in the 70s toward the end of the Vietnam War and I was born and raised here in Denver.
While in school, I realized that I was interested in sustainability, and I decided that I no longer wanted to waste my time working in a job just for the paycheck. I wanted to invest my time into gaining experience and doing work that was related to what I am studying. During my job search, I learned that MHYC was hiring, which sparked an interest, because it related to sustainability. Not only did MHYC do work in conservation, it also offered an AmeriCorps education award to use toward college.
Through the corps, I’ve been given the opportunity to help low-income families by installing new high efficiency toilets, faucet aerators, CFLs, and low-flow showerheads to help families conserve more water and energy while lowering their bills. I’ve also had the opportunity to serve as a leader on a land conservation crew, earning my S-212 sawyer certification, completing fire fuel mitigation projects, and providing environmental education to seasonal members.
MHYC has enriched my life with so many opportunities that I have never gotten from any other job. I’ve learned strong technical skills. It always makes the work worthwhile when you hear clients tell you 'thank you'. Sometimes clients are surprised when they see a woman come to change out their toilet or use a chainsaw. I take pride in being a female and doing a job that many people would not expect me to be able to do.
MHYC has also made an impact on my personal growth because it has pushed me to put myself in uncomfortable situations, such as leading group discussions, using a hammer drill to drill concrete, and chainsawing outside all day in the scorching heat. I have improved my communication skills through interacting with so many different people every day. I have also improved my troubleshooting skills and have become more solution-focused. MHYC has allowed me to challenge myself to continue to keep pushing forward, no matter how hard the situation may seem.
After my term ends in December, I plan to use my AmeriCorps award toward my student loans for school. Today, I am so grateful to be a part of MHYC because I truly believe in the work that we do in the community, and I take pride in knowing that I am a part of something bigger than myself."
Photo: Jenny Pham speaks at the Fall Friends Reception about her experience as a Mile High Youth Corps member
GOCO Announces $500,000 in Youth Corps Projects
On December 10, the GOCO board of directors approved a slate of $500,000 in open space and local government projects for youth corps. The projects will focus on fire mitigation, trail construction, invasive species removal and river bank restoration. See the complete press release on the GOCO website.
Xcel Energy Sparks Corps-to-Career Opportunities
Xcel Energy recently contributed $7,500 to CYCA to advance our Corps-to-Careers Program, which focuses on expanding pathways for youth corps alums in natural resources careers. Funds will support internship placements, career coaching, and post-corps follow-up. Thank you, Xcel Energy!
Six Colorado Youth Corps Named to 21st Century Conservation Service Corps
All 21CSC participants gain skills and deliver results that include enhancing recreational opportunities and access, protecting wildlife, restoring impaired watersheds, removing invasive species, increasing energy efficiency, preserving historic and cultural sites, enhancing community spaces, coordinating volunteers, supporting monitoring of data needs, responding to natural disasters, reducing hazardous fuels and protecting communities from wildfire.
The 21CSC is supported by the federal 21CSC National Council, which includes members from US Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Partnership for the 21CSC, which was launched in June 2013 as a collaborative group to support the 21CSC.
CYCA extends hearty congratulations to the six youth corps representing Colorado!
Gear Banks Get Boost, Thanks to REI
REI recently donated tents, sleeping bags and pads for youth corps around the state. Young people without the means to buy their own camping gear for their corps season can now borrow these REI items from each youth corps’ gear bank. All of this gear will get years of good use. Thank you, REI!
Save the Dates!
Annual Youth Corps Awards Ceremony
February 3, 2014 8:00 am
Colorado State Capitol, Old Supreme Court Chambers
Keynote Speaker and Champion for Youth Honoree, former Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar
Careers in Natural Resources Summit
February 18, 2014
USFS Regional Office, 740 Simms Street, Golden, CO
CYCA Seeks Executive Director
Position description can be found at www.CYCA.org
Resumes due January 17, 2014