Former Corpsmember of the Year to Appear on Nationally Broadcast PBS Television Special for American Graduate Day


Germain Castellanos of Youth Conservation Corps – Corpsmember of the Year 2005 – will appear alongside fellow AmeriCorps alum Jamiel Alexander of the National Council of Young Leaders on public television to recognize American Graduate Day.

WASHINGTON – As part of American Graduate Day 2013, Germain Castellanos, a Corps Network 2005 Corpsmember of the Year and a former member of Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) in Waukegan IL, will appear on public broadcasting stations throughout the country on Saturday, September 28, 2013. You will be able to watch the live stream here.

American Graduate Day 2013 is the second annual full-day public television and radio event featuring local and national programming focussed on finding solutions to America’s high school dropout crisis. The event will be filmed live at the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City. Broadcasters and Special Guests include Campbell Brown, JuJu Chang, Harold Ford Jr, Jeff Greenfield, Bryant Gumbel, Mo Rocca Assif Mandvi, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Deborah Norville, Colin Powell, Mike Rowe, Ray Suarez, Mark Teixeira, Jay Thomas, and Brian Williams. Bill Basl, the Director of AmeriCorps, will speak about how national service is helping to increase the nation’s high school graduation rate.

Germain will appear alongside Jamiel Alexander, a Youth Build alumni and a current member of the National Council of Young Leaders. Germain was selected to participate in the filming for American Graduate Day 2013 for his efforts to address the high school dropout crisis and his own story of how he overcame his life circumstances and found personal success. As a teenager, Germain was involved in gang activities and was convicted of a misdemeanor. He ended up being kicked out of school. At the age of 21, unemployed and without a high school diploma, Germain joined YCC. Through the Corps, Germain earned his GED and college credits. He also began to see his own potential. He later went on to work with Youth Build, Lake County, and eventually founded the SHINE Educational Leadership Program at Waukegan High School; the same school Germain was kicked out of when he was a teenager. SHINE is focused on helping at-risk students stay in school and transition to college. Germain’s story was recently featured in The Corps Network’s new eBook, Join the Crew: Inspirational Stories of Young Adults in America’s Service and Conservation Corps.

City Year, a national service organization whose sites are members of The Corps Network, will also play a major role in Saturday’s broadcast. City Year “is an education focused, nonprofit organization that unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service to keep students in school and on track to graduation.”

Germain and Jamiel will likely appear on Saturday’s program during the 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. (ET) time slot. Click here to check your local PBS television listings, or click the link above to watch the live stream online.

American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen is an initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting “to help communities implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis.” Public media helps address the dropout crisis by raising awareness and building local capacity to handle the problem. “Working with Alma and Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, Johns Hopkins Everyone Graduates Center, and The Alliance for Excellent Education, and over 800 local partners, the initiative puts faces on the numbers and increases understanding of the risks and solutions through national and local content.”

About The Corps Network

The Corps Network is the voice of the nation’s 127 Service and Conservation Corps. Currently operating in every state and the District of Columbia, Corps annually enroll more than 27,000 young men and women in service every year. Each year Corps mobilize an additional 289,000 community volunteers who work alongside Corpsmembers to generate 638,684 additional hours of service every year, at an estimated value of $14,140,463. For more information, visit or contact Levi Novey at or 202.737.6272.

Media Contact:

Levi Novey
The Corps Network
1100 G Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202.737.6272
Fax: 202.737.6277