YOUTH CORPS CELEBRATE CHAMPIONS AND CORPSMEMBERS
Youth corps celebrated 10 Corpsmembers of the Year and Champion Award Winners last week at the annual Youth Corps Awards Ceremony at the State Capitol. See photos of the February 6, 2012 event and award winners here.
YOUTH CORPS ARE FOR THE BIRDS
Keynote Speaker, Samuel Vasquez, gave the audience insight into the seemingly insurmountable challenges that he has overcome, and how Mile High Youth Corps (MHYC) and his little brother helped him succeed. Through leadership and outstanding worth ethic, Sam, a 21-year-old Colorado native, has served as an exceptional role model to his peers throughout his two terms of services in the Corps. Watch Sam's speech here!
Sam grew up with a history of crime involvement, drugs and with many male family members sentenced to life in prison. Despite these events, Sam has demonstrated an amazing abilty to overcome personal barriers. He has not let those barriers define who he is; rather, he uses them as motivation to seek out new opportunities to make significant changes in his life, and to change the trajectory of his little brother's futue.
While working at MHYC, Sam has exhibited an unparalleled work ethic, developing skills in advanced weatherization techniques and in the planning and facilitation of technical trainings. He is currently earning his BPI (Building Performance Institute) certification in weatherization and has taken on numerous internship and job-shadowing opportunities with industry leaders. Sam regularly demonstrates to his peers the benefits of the corps and how to apply these concepts to daily work life. The Energy Conservation Program Manager said, "He is always willing to assist other corpsmembers with their daily tasks and regularly works as a teacher and mentor in expanding their knowledge and relating that to their experiences."
Sam completed his second term of service with MHYC in December 2011. He has earned $9,450 in AmeriCorps Education Awards and plans to attend college to study advanced green technologies and weatherization.
Saving Sage-Grouse in Southwest Colorado
In mid-August, a crew from Southwest Conservation Corps - Four Corners spent two weeks cutting and installing 26,978 fence reflectors - by hand - onto barbed wire fencing. Why you ask? The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO)-funded project aimed to improve the habitat of the highly threatened Gunnison sage grouse population throughout San Miguel County by increasing the visibility of the fences. "A recent study in Idaho revealed 49 fence collisions per 41 miles of fence," said project sponsor Patrick Willits, the executive director of the Trust for Land Restoration. "Marking the barbed wire fencing with reflectors reduced those bird collisions by 80 percent." Gunnison sage grouse only live in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah. There are currently fewer than 5,000 sage grouse birds in existance. "The crew and leaders worked hard and were pleasant to be around," said Willits.
In addition to marking the fences, SCC corpsmembers also restored riparian areas, reseeded native grasses, improved the areas around native springs and made note of any Gunnison sage grouse or pellets they saw. The sightings will help local biologists identify specifically where the grouse are located and plan for additional habitat improvement projects.
THANKS FOR COLORADO GIVES DAY SUPPORT
Thanks to the many generous donors who supported CYCA on Tuesday, December 6 as part of Colorado Gives Day. CYCA had over double the number of donors than the previous year, which resulted in double the donations. In total, donors gave $12.3 million in one day to more than 920 organizations. Did you miss donating on the big day? No problem. Click HERE to donate now.
PATHWAYS TO NATURAL RESOURCES CAREERS SUMMIT
Join us on Thursday, February 23 for the Pathways to Natural Resources Careers Summit co-hosted by CYCA and BLM. Be part of helping young people gain self-sufficiency through education and employment. Help assure a cadre of skilled, trained and educated professionals who will manage our public lands in the future. Who should attend? The Summit is most appropriate for local, state and federal land managers concerned about their future workforce, nonprofits who collaborate with these agencies, and higher education professionals interested in placing their graduates in natural resources jobs.
The Summit will be held at Mile High Youth Corps Headquarters - 1801 Federal Blvd., in Denver, CO. See invitation for details and to RSVP.