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Colorado Youth Corps Association
Young Transplants from Ukraine Find Rewards in Youth Corps

Lizzie Carries LogsRimma and Elizabeth (“Lizzie”) came from the Ukraine two years ago to live with their adoptive family in Longmont. Despite not speaking any English at the time, the girls, now 16, are fluent in English and have completely immersed themselves in American culture and life. That includes developing a love for the Colorado landscape, their new homeland. This summer Rimma and Lizzie spent eight weeks with the Boulder County Youth Corps where they completed forestry work at Button Rock Preserve, in the foothills west of Longmont. One of their tasks was to move large logs and stack them for trucks that would place them at camp sites.

 
Rimma after tossing log“It was hard because it was really hot and we had to climb very steep mountains. My feet hurt all the time!” says Rimma. But the smile is evident in her voice as she says it. “I liked it because I met new people and got to work in my first job. I got my first paycheck and have my own bank account.” Rimma says she joined the youth corps to earn money for college and a car. She would like to study interior design or be an international flight attendant.
 
Lizzie agrees about the challenging work of youth corps. But, she says, it was “pretty great” and she appreciated the chance to learn and work in teams. “At first I wondered what I was doing in youth corps. But the leaders taught us so much. I really didn’t know how to work, or work safely. They did team games with us and made the whole group work together and explained everything. I wasn’t expecting that. I thought wow, this is amazing!” With a goal of studying family or immigration law in college, her sights are set on the future.
 
For now, both girls are enjoying their high school experience, excelling in their studies and actively participating on the cheerleading team. And they have hopes of returning to youth corps next year. “It was a very beautiful place. I would definitely go back,” says Rimma.

Youth Corps Improve Access for Equestrians

Marmots Spanish Peak WildernessThis year, CYCA was pleased to receive a $15,000 grant from the Roundup Riders of the Rockies Heritage & Trails Foundation – and has received news of an additional $15,000 in 2013 – to support youth corps work on equestrian trails.

 
Thanks to this funding, 53 corpsmembers provided 4,160 hours of labor in 2012 to increase access and safety for equestrians and other trail users, including hikers and bikers. Here’s a brief snapshot of some of the projects the crews completed:
 

  • Constructed 609 feet of new trail in Golden Gate Canyon State Park
  • Cleared 2 miles of corridor in the Oil Well Flat Area
  • Constructed 3,696 feet of trail in the Spanish Peaks Wilderness Area
  • Maintained 3.5 miles of trail tread in the Weminuche Wilderness
  • Constructed 38 feet of turnpike in the White River National Forest

 
Four youth corps benefited from the Roundup Riders funding: Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, Southwest Conservation Corps-Four Corners, Mile High Youth Corps and Mile High Youth Corps-Colorado Springs. Other contributors to these projects include the Ski Contribution Fund of the National Forest Foundation, the United States Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Photo: Jacob Skinner and Janelle Griffin of Mile High Youth Corps take a break after unloading gear from their four-legged companion on the Wahatoya Trail – Spanish Peaks Wilderness Area.

Join us at Coohills Restaurant Nov. 14
 

CYCA’s friends and supporters are invited to celebrate and help strengthen a new partnership that will put veterans and young people to work on some of Colorado’s most scenic national conservation lands. Their work is important to restoring rivers, fixing trails, improving habitat, protecting cultural sites, making communities safer from wildfires, and more.
 
Please join us at Coohills Restaurant for drinks, appetizers and conversation!
 
WEDNESDAY | NOVEMBER 14, 2012 | 5 -7 PM
Coohills Restaurant | 1400 Wewatta Street, Denver
 
Governor John Hickenlooper will be a featured speaker, and additional special invited guests include Colorado’s Congressional Delegation, Major General H. Michael Edwards, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Veterans Green Jobs, and representatives from the Colorado State BLM Office.
 
Hosted by the Conservation Lands Foundation and the Colorado Youth Corps Association
 
RSVP to Julie Thibodeau
970-247-0807, ext. 13 | julie@conservationlands.org
View full invitation here.



Congratulations to Jack Placchi for winning the Take Pride in America Award


Piacchi Award
Jack Placchi, volunteer coordinator and recreation planner for the Colorado State Office of the Bureau of Land Management, was presented with a 2012 Take Pride in America Award in Washington DC earlier this month. Jack is a stalwart champion for youth conservation corps and a former CYCA Board Member.

Congratulations, Jack, on this well deserved award! 

In the photo, Jack is shown third from left, along with several representatives from the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management. Read the full press release here. 


Hellos and Goodbyes

CYCA recently bid farewell to Good Works for Youth AmeriCorps *VISTA Leader, Grant Sanford, after a year of incredible productivity and teamwork.  Grant was instrumental in expanding CYCA’s Pathways to Natural Resource Career initiative as well as stellar leadership and guidance to the 20 VISTAs in the CYCA Good Works For Youth project.  The next step in his career will be to continue in the social work field.  We wish him the very best.

Alexis Prigge recently replaced Grant as our VISTA Leader.  Alexis is a native from Iowa, but has lived on both coasts of the United States.  Prior to joining CYCA, Alexis served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in southern Oregon with the Douglas County Museum of Natural and Cultural History creating hands on learning curriculum for low income schools.  Alexis also spent three years working for Granite United Way in Lebanon, New Hampshire as both a volunteer coordinator and later as Assistant Director of Community Impact.  Alexis has her own experience being a part of a trail crew!  She served with the Maine Conservation Corps as a trail crew member in 2007 in Camden, Maine.  Alexis earned her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Iowa.  She enjoys collecting vinyl records and traveling.  Welcome, Alexis!
October 2012
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