The Corps Network Praises American Eagle Outfitters for Million Dollar Commitment to Support 21st Century Conservation Service Corps

Secretary Sally Jewell and American Eagle Outfitters Vice President Helga Ying (left of Jewell),  joined with Corpsmembers for a photo underneath one of FDR's famous quotes at his Memorial.

Your Chance to Win Fantastic Original Artwork & Support The Corps Network

A Very Special Opportunity

We are excited to announce that everyone who donates (or has donated) to The Corps Network’s CrowdRise Holiday Campaign will be entered to win an 11 x 17 inch print depicting original artwork from The Corps Network's new book, Join the Crew: Inspirational Stories of Young Adults in America’s Service and Conservation Corps! 

Through this artwork, we wish to highlight the work that The Corps Network does to tell the stories of the Next Greatest Generation and raise the visibility of our Corpsmembers’ accomplishments. The opportunity to be entered to win the Join the Crew artwork will end on December 31st, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. 

Thank you for supporting The Corps Network and now back to our originally scheduled email...

As participants in the Crowdrise Holiday Challenge, The Corps Network greatly appreciates your donation, which will support our work cultivating the “Next Greatest Generation” of Americans. Each week, we will highlight some of our 2013 accomplishments. In the final week of our campaign, we’re focusing on the work we do to tell the stories of our Corpsmembers – the many inspiring veterans and youth who serve in Corps every year. These Corpsmembers are the next greatest generation of American leaders. 

The Corps Network (TCN) expands the conversation around America’s youth and their stories of struggle, perseverance, and personal success. Every year, America’s Service and Conservation Corps engage over 27,000 young adults in meaningful service projects that provides them with the job skills necessary to pursue a number of careers in the 21st century workforce.

The Corps Network’s new book, Join the Crew: Inspirational Stories of Young Adults in America’s Service and Conservation Corps, tells how over 60 current and former Corpsmembers experienced personal growth and adventure through Corps programs. The chapters in Join the Crew showcase stories of young people from all walks of life who joined Corps to build their resumes; make a fresh start; try something new (like wielding a chainsaw!); help support their families; or re-adjust to society after serving time. A special chapter written by Corpsmembers adds additional insight into how transformational and influential Corps experiences can be. Join the Crew shows how service in Corps programs can help recent graduates find a meaningful career path; help troubled teens find stability; help veterans readjust to civilian life; and help so many others build self-confidence and leadership skills.

Another highlight of The Corps Network’s work in 2013 includes a resolution we introduced in the United States House of Representatives to honor the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and its accomplishments in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the CCC’s creation.

This year, The Corps Network also helped sponsor the National Council of Young Leaders. Created in July 2012 in response to a recommendation from the White House Council on Community Solutions, the Council is tasked with informing policymakers, business leaders and funders about the issues faced by America’s young people. Council members come from diverse upbringings in urban and rural low-income communities across the nation. They represent our country’s Opportunity Youth: the 6.7 million young Americans who are neither in school nor working, but who offer enormous potential for our economy and our future if they are provided the opportunity to get on track. The Corps Network’s representation on the National Council of Young Leaders brings Corpsmembers to the table to discuss some of America’s most pressing youth-related issues, including access to higher education and fair sentencing in the justice system.

Each year, The Corps Network honors 6 Service and Conservation Corpsmembers whose accomplishments and personal stories exemplify the positive services Corps provide for individuals and communities across the nation. You can click here to read about our Corpsmember of the Year Award winners from 2005 to the present – without question, all of the young men and women who serve in Corps programs have fascinating stories to tell.

Corpsmembers of the Year are selected by members of our Corps Council and honored at The Corps Network’s annual National Conference in Washington, D.C. The Corps Network encourages the award winners to continue the legacy of Service and Conservation Corps through our Corps Ambassador Program. This program provides participants the opportunity to access a variety of communications channels, including the chance to have meetings with members of Congress and write op-ed’s for local and national media sources.

We would love your help to continue working on behalf of The Corps Movement! We hope you choose to Channel Your Inner Santa and give to The Corps Network.

The Corps Network

Boiler Plate: 
We are excited to announce that everyone who donates (or has donated) to The Corps Network’s CrowdRise Holiday Campaign will be entered to win an 11 x 17 inch print depicting original artwork from Join the Crew.

2014 Corps Legacy Achievement Award Winner, Leslie Wilkoff

Leslie Wilkoff
The Corps Network


Click here to Read an Interview with
Leslie Wilkoff 

Leslie began with the Human Environment Center in 1984 and transitioned to The Corps Network when it was created in 1985. Since the organization began, Leslie has taken on almost every responsibility possible at one time or another, and has become one of the most knowledgeable leaders in the Corps Movement, sought out for her wisdom, command of Corps history, and expertise in AmeriCorps programs and initiatives.

As Director of AmeriCorps Programs, Leslie Wilkoff leads The Corps Network's AmeriCorps Education Award Program (EAP). Leslie created TCN's AmeriCorps Program Manual as well as a document on nontraditional uses for AmeriCorps Education Awards. She also ensures compliance and provides technical assistance to TCN subgrantees in Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) AmeriCorps grants.

Throughout her tenure Leslie has developed a cache of tools for national service and youth development programs and has emerged as one of the leaders of the EAP serving on numerous working groups for CNCS. She also provides training to subgrantees for the eGrants Portal on-line member management system. In addition, she helped develop and manages The Corps Network's Health Insurance Plan for Corpsmembers and AmeriCorps members.


Boiler Plate: 
Leslie began with the Human Environment Center in 1984 and transitioned to The Corps Network when it was created in 1985. Since the organization began, Leslie has taken on almost every responsibility possible at one time or another, and has become one of the most knowledgeable leaders in the Corps Movement, sought out for his wisdom, command of Corps history, and expertise in AmeriCorps programs and initiatives.

Former Deputy Director of National Park Service Joins The Corps Network’s Board of Directors

WASHINGTON – Mickey Fearn, who for the last six years has served as the National Park Service’s Deputy Director for Communications and Community Assistance, has joined The Corps Network’s Board of Directors. He is currently a Professor of Practice in North Carolina State University’s School of Natural Resources.

Sequestration Will Cut Job Training Slots for Youth in America’s Service and Conservation Corps by 25%

A new study conducted by The Corps Network, the national association of America’s Service and Conservation Corps, indicates that sequestration will have a severe impact upon its members and reduce the amount of young people to whom they can offer job training, educational development, and leadership skills.

The Corps Network Releases New Book, Join the Crew: Inspirational Stories of Young Adults in America’s Service and Conservation Corps

Book features over 60 stories about current and former Corpsmembers from over 25 states.

Please join us in welcoming Members who have joined The Corps Network in FY13!

Service and Conservation Corps

Anchorage Park Foundation/Youth Employment in Parks   
Larimer County Conservation Corps            
WisCorps / Wisconsin Conservation Corps  
YouthBuild Lake County                                    
YouthWorks (Santa Fe)               

For a full list of Members by State – click here.  

Affiliate Members – non-profit youth, service and conservation programs

Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps   
Montgomery County Conservation Corps / Latin American Youth Center  
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference  
Repair the World   

Affiliate Members – State Commissions

Office on Volunteerism & Community Service/Virginia DSS    

Affiliate Members – Business Supporters

Green Piranhas /5604 LLC 

For a full list of Affiliates – click here. 

Support The Corps Movement in America– Donate Today!

As the national association of Service and Conservation Corps, our mission is “to promote the growth, quality, and sustainability of Corps.” 

December 4, 2012 

Dear Friends and Supporters of The Corps Network:
Although the economy continues to improve at a modest rate, many populations and sectors continue to be negatively impacted by the most significant economic downturn since the Great Depression. Youth unemployment remains at record levels, particularly for young people of color. The nation’s infrastructure, public lands, and natural resources have backlogged maintenance needs in the trillions. And state and local budgets have been cut to the point where they are unable to meet their obligations and the “well-being of citizens is threatened.”
Service and Conservation Corps provide a solution for addressing some of these critical problems. Based on the model of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which helped pull the nation out of the Great Depression in the 1930s, Service and Conservation Corps engage out-of-school and out-of-work youth and young adults in education and training while responding to national and community needs.
In 2012, more than 30,000 Corpsmembers built trails and campgrounds, planned and developed urban gardens and community green spaces, restored natural habitats and waterways, removed hazardous fuel and invasive species, weatherized and retrofitted home and buildings in low-income communities, fought forest fires and responded to natural disasters, while at the same time obtaining GEDs, high school diplomas, college credits, AmeriCorps Education Awards, industry-recognized certificates and jobs.
And we know that Corps work ~
For Corpsmembers: “If it wasn’t for the Corps I would NEVER have gone back to school.  They helped me understand the importance of education, they gave me job training and they gave me the chance to become a leader.  I don’t like to think where my life would be if I hadn’t joined the Corps.”  2005 Corpsmember of the Year, Urban Corps of San Diego

For Communities: “We’ve worked closely with Greater Miami Service Corps during the past two and half years and this partnership has been key to our department, and a win-win situation for us.  I can’t say enough about the value of this partnership.” Jorge Pena, Neighborhood Compliance Supervisor, Miami-Dade County
For Public Lands: I am extremely impressed with the crew’s attitude, work ethic, land ethic, and productivity. This experience has renewed my faith and interest in the caring for the land by a young group of adults. Working with the Corps has been one of the best experiences of my career, which spans 30 years!”  Jim Sparks, BLM
While we are proud of our Corps for the opportunities that they have provided to these 30,000 Corpsmembers, according to the White House Council on Community Solutions, more than six million young Americans between the ages of 16 and 25 are out-of-school and out-of work and are in need of similar opportunities.  
In 2012, The Corps Network had many notable accomplishments (read our detailed summary!). In the year ahead, we have ambitious plans for growing the Corps movement. We plan to:
·         Work with our federal land management agency partners to establish a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps to engage 100,000 young people in education, training, and meaningful work on our nation’s public lands.
·         Implement new and important provisions in the recently passed federal transit bill that will allow more Corpsmembers to work on transportation projects and gain entre into that industry.
·         Partner with experts in the field of education and workforce development to improve outcomes for Corpsmembers.
·         Promote the expansion of national and community service, particularly for Opportunity Youth and Environmental Stewards.
·         Implement an accreditation process that will promote a standard of excellence among all Corps.
You can help us make these plans a reality. As an important part of our national network, I hope that you will consider including The Corps Network in your charitable giving for 2012. By making a financial contribution to The Corps Network you can help us protect and develop our nation’s most precious resources – our youth, our communities and our lands. If you are interested in supporting us, you can contribute online directly through our website or you can send your tax-deductible donation to:
The Corps Network
Attn:  Lauren Hill, Director of Development
1100 G Street, NW Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005.
Thank you for your consideration.  May you enjoy a wonderful holiday season and new year!
Mary Ellen Ardouny
President and CEO
The Corps Network

Announcing The Corps Network's 2013 Award Winners

We received many excellent nominations this year for our Corpsmember of the Year, Project of the Year, and Legacy Achievement Awards. We thank all of those who applied and submitted nominations. Without further ado, those who will be honored at our upcoming 2013 National Conference include...

Legacy Achievement Award
Marilee Eckert
Ira Okun
John Irish
Projects of the Year
Flying Weed Warriors – LA Conservation Corps
POPS – Fresno Local Conservation Corps
Real Food Farm – Civic Works 
Corpsmembers of the Year
Jesse Roehm – Mile High Youth Corps
Alex Hreha – Coconino Rural Environment Corps
Luis Gaeta – Fresno Local Conservation Corps
Sarah Huff – California Conservation Corps
Raghda Raphael – Urban Corps of San Diego
Brandon Penny - Civicorps

Congratulations to all of the winners! We will look forward to sharing their stories over the coming weeks and months with you.

Getting Things Started Right: 2011 National Conference Begins


The 2011 Corpsmembers of the Year. From Left to Right: Tyler Rose of Coconino Rural Environment Corps (Arizona), De’Andre Alexander of Operation Fresh Start (Wisconsin), Mari TakemotoChock of KUPU (Hawaii), Christopher Thomas of California Conservation Corps, Andrew McKee of NYC Justice Corps (New York), and Oscar Marquina of Utah Conservation Corps.

The Corps Network opened the 2011 Annual Corps Forum with an ambitious schedule. After a warm welcome to attendees and a big thanks to Forum planners and sponsors, the audience was treated to a 7 minute video about the 6 primary stars of the Forum— the Corpsmembers of the Year.

After celebrating the Corpsmembers, Former Senator and Service Champion Harris Wofford gave a heartfelt tribute to his recently departed friend, Sargent Shriver. Shriver was the first director of the Peace Corps and was an adament supporter of National Service.

Next Denise Fairchild, the Executive Director of the Emerald Cities Collaborative, talked to Sally Prouty about her work and described how Service and Conservation Corps will play an important role in helping to retrofit many of America’s urban buildings to make them greener and more energy efficient. 

Switching gears again, the trio of Mary Ellen Ardouny, Harry Bruell, and Gene Sofer provided an update about the state of politics in our nation’s Capitol. They talked about Congress’s desire to cut spending and what it would mean for Americorps. On a more positive note, they also described The Corps Network’s efforts to build federal partnerships and pass legislation that will benefit its members nationwide.


Harry Bruell and Mary Ellen Ardouny.

The Opening Session concluded with a surprise appearance from Mr. Peanut himself. He came to present a symbolic check that represented Planters’ investment in a new partnership with The Corps Network. Together, The Corps Network and Planters are creating urban parks in 4 cities that demonstrate our mutual commitment to improving communities. Afterward Mr. Peanut happily obliged an eager crowd by sticking around for photo opportunities.


Mr. Peanut proudly poses with (left to right): Sally Prouty, Executive Director of The Corps Network, Mr. Peanut’s Sidekick, James Jones, Senior Vice President at The Corps Network, and Jason Levine, Director of Marketing for Planters.