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Instead of Staying Home, American Youth Are Answering the Call to Serve With AmeriCorps


230 energetic young adults from across the country have packed into vans to begin a new adventure in service to others through the AmeriCorps National Civil Community Corps (NCCC).

AmeriCorps / NCCC

Two weeks ago, they were deployed in 24 teams across the country, helping community groups that are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic or implementing wildfire management in the West.

“It feels amazing to know that during these unprecedented times I have the opportunity to make a real difference,” Wilhemina Solley told GNN.

“It was very gratifying talking to the owners and knowing that thanks to the work I was doing, they will be safer and more protected from wildfires. I know this is an experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. “

Training for AmeriCorps began in October and emphasized safety, teamwork, leadership development, and Covid-19 communication.

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AmeriCorps / NCCC

From fighting food insecurity to providing affordable housing, these young people are bridging the gap by providing much-needed volunteers and popular power.

Habitat for Humanity is one of the groups that is benefiting from the ten-week deployments. Two of the teams wield hammers and power tools helping with the construction of affordable housing in Sacramento.

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AmeriCorps / NCCC

A team traveled to Stockton, California to help with food distribution. Like another group in California that helps with fire management, a team came to Oregon to work on similar projects and take care of the environment.

AmeriCorps / NCCC

From the ‘Purple 6 team’ serving in Salt Lake City, Utah, Bode Anderson-Brown found that the most impactful aspect was stepping out of his comfort zone.

“Talking to people on the phone and getting them the help they need … Previously I thought this was out of my wheelhouse, but now I’ve discovered that I have a talent for it!”

Other groups are assisting the Department of Health by supporting coronavirus testing sites and providing hygiene supplies to residents.

“Being able to step up and help places that really need it has been a very rewarding way to take a year that would otherwise have been staying home and turn it into a life-changing experience,” Solley said.

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Each of them will graduate from NCCC on July 14, after completing 3-5 long-term service projects investing more than 1,700 hours. In return, members receive $ 6,395 to help pay for college or pay off existing student loans.

The US government-funded 10-month residential program involves about 2,100 youth each year between the ages of 18 and 26. It was originally conceived by a bipartisan group of senators and enacted by President Bill Clinton in 1993.

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