2007 Project of the Year: TCYC Gains Secondary Emergency Responder Status


Winner: Tulare County Youth Corps (now Sequoia Community Corps)

Tulare County Youth Corps (now Sequoia Community Corps) corpsmembers participated in flood control this past winter season when water flooded public roads, portions of Sequoia Airfield, and areas surrounding the Tulare County Jail and Juvenile Detention Facility. The corps assisted county personnel in pumping water from flooded areas, replenishing supplies, and repairing levies and bridges to mitigate further flooding.

TCYC’s invaluable assistance led to an agreement with Tulare County to be a secondary emergency responder in 2006. TCYC prepared for this role by offering a new certification program in Bobcat operation. Seven corpsmembers have been certified in Bobcat operation and six more will be ready to test by November 2006. 

The testing consists of written and hands-on field navigation on uneven and unstable terrain and includes a full range of maneuvers such as moving land for repairing and shoring up levies and bridges where water breaks overflow, leveling of surfaces, and trenching for water flow redirection. Thus far in 2006, fully trained and certified corpsmembers assisted in trenching for disaster relief in Tulare County. 

2005 Corpsmember of the Year: Patricia Bohnwagner

***Update! Click here to find out what Patricia has been up to since winning her award.***

After graduating from high school, Patricia Bohnwagner was working in a fast food restaurant in Massachusetts when she decided to move to San Diego and live with her sister.  She joined Urban Corps of San Diego when the worry of becoming homeless was all too near.  After being accepted and working her way through the Corps Environmental Projects Department and Urban Forestry Department, Patricia was moved to the Graffiti Department and was quickly promoted to crew leader where she increased production by 20 percent.  She asked for, and was granted, an extension to her one year term and was transferred to the Recycling Department where she led the Corpsmember Marketing Crew.  In January she was promoted to a staff position where she continues to lead the Marketing Crew in her role as supervisor.  Patricia also continues taking classes to become certified as an EMT. 

-- “If it wasn’t for the Urban 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.”

(written in 2005)

2008 Corpsmember of the Year: Nancy Herrara


When Nancy joined the New Jersey Youth Corps of Camden in January 2007, four years after dropping out of school high school, she was far away from her dream of becoming a doctor.  After orientation, Nancy started in the Emergency Medical Services Training Program.  While riding along with the EMT squad on her first day, Nancy realized that she still wanted to be a doctor and within a few weeks enrolled in the EMT-B training course. 

Nancy rode to emergency calls and worked on her diploma during the day, while taking EMT training at night. In August 2007, she graduated as valedictorian of Union County Vo-Tech Adult High School and passed her EMT-Basic State Exam to become a certified EMT. 

Nancy is now a freshman biology major on her way to fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a doctor.  She volunteers at two rescue squads while serving as a Corpsmember leader, training new Corpsmembers in ambulance and first aid basics.  As Nancy said:

“I could only hope that the Corpsmembers can see my personal experience as an incentive to not give up and a motivator to continue with their pursuit of their high school diploma and whatever goals they may have for afterwards.”

San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps Staff Recognized as Hero


San Gabriel Valley (CA) Conservation Corps Supervisors manage work crews beautifying Whittier Narrows or reinforcing isolated hillsides prone to flash floods in the San Gabriel Mountains. They also receive training in First Aid and CPR. Andrew Martinez put his training to good use this past spring and assisted a jogger who was in distress near their work area. Martinez, who is CPR certified, was able to help the man start breathing again and was recognized for his heroics by Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina at the Board of Supervisors meeting this month. Read more in the Whittier Daily News.