Corpsmembers of The Year Represent The Corps Network on New National Council of Young Leaders


The Corps Network is pleased to announce that 2012 Corpsmembers of the Year, Philan Tree of Coconino Rural Environment Corps and Ladine Daniels of Energy Conservation Corps/The Sustainability Institute have been appointed to the National Council of Young Leaders. This new Council made up of representatives from national youth-serving organizations is intended to be a permanent body that will advise the White House, Congress, philanthropists, business leaders, and other policymakers on issues affecting disadvantaged or "opportunity youth" and their communities. The next event for the Council will be participation in the Opportunity Nation Summit in Washington DC on September 19, 2012, where they will be leaders for young people from around the country (including several additional Corpsmembers).
More information about the Summit can be found here.

Dorothy Stoneman, founder and CEO of YouthBuild USA, Inc. (one of our partners in the National Council of Young Leaders) speaks to the role of youth-serving organizations in addressing challenges faced by Opportunity Youth in a recently published article on the Huffington Post called "Solutions are Obvious for a National Emergency".

Additional efforts are being worked on to advance the voice of young people. Read more in this posting by SparkAction.

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps Alumna Makes Headlines for Stopping a Violent Attack on the Streets of Oakland, CA

From The San Francisco Examiner

On the night of Thursday, August 30, former Rocky Mountain Youth Corps member Rain Dove was waiting at a bus stop in Oakland, CA when she noticed a fight break out across the street. A group of about a dozen men had chased another man and his female companion after the couple reacted to being harassed by a CD salesman on the street. The mob of men slammed the woman against a wall and began repeatedly kicking the man’s head.

There were plenty of bystanders, but nobody did anything to help…nobody, that is, except for Rain Dove.

“I asked the guy next to me why no one was helping and he said that there’s an unspoken policy in Oakland that we let things happen and clean up afterwards,” said Dove. “Right then, I ran across the street and pulled two of the guys off of him who were kicking his face in.”
Dove said she immediately put her hand behind the victim's head to apply pressure where he was bleeding heavily. The group then began breaking up, with several men fleeing.

Several of the attackers that stayed at the scene sexually harassed Dove as she attempted to assist the man. Dove responded by telling the attackers that they had done enough damage and could do the decent thing of trying to help the man. Dove provided money to one of the attackers who, after a change of heart, went to a local store and bought water for the victim.

Dove said paramedics who responded to the scene told her that although the man was beaten nearly to death, he will likely make a full recovery thanks to her assistance.

Click here to watch an interview with Rain on CBS San Francisco.

Powerful Youth Voices Amplified at Opportunity Nation Summit

The Opportunity Nation Summit featured a number of high profile speakers, but the speakers with the most important messages were the young men and women who every day must struggle to overcome barriers to opportunity.Youth voices were most prominent during the National Council of Young Leaders and Allies Gathering that was a breakout segment of the Summit. During this session, members of the National Council shared and explained the Six Immediate Recommendations for improving youth opportunity that they developed earlier this year.
The Recommendations were to Expand Comprehensive Programs; Expand Commitments to National Service; Expand Private Internships; Increase Mentoring Opportunities; Increase Pathways to Higher Education; and Expand Second Chance Programs for Former Inmates.
Read their full recommendations and biographies.
Members of the Council are affliated with various organizations that serve youth, including The Corps Network, Youthbuild USA, Year Up, Public Allies, Opportunity Nation, Youth Leadership Institute, Jobs for the Future, the Philadelphia Youth Network, and the Forum for Youth Investment / Spark Action.
Council members with relevant personal experience presented the recommendations. Ladine “JR” Daniels, a 2012 Corpsmember of the Year, presented the final recommendation and explained how, after spending two years in prison, The Sustainability Institute in his hometown of Charleston, S.C. helped him develop job skills.
Philandrian Tree, another 2012 Corpsmember of the Year, presented the second recommendation and shared her story of working as an AmeriCorps member with the Coconino Rural Environment Corps to help improve energy efficiency on Arizona’s Native American reservations.
Throughout the Summit, youth were called upon to share how job corps and nontraditional educational programs helped them overcome barriers to success such as poverty, broken homes, teen pregnancy and criminal records. Diana Carrillo, a member of The Corps Network’s Conservation Corps of North Bay in San Rafael, California, shared her story of finding success at CCNB as a young mother who was new to this country. Diana explained how she emigrated from Mexico to America three years ago with no knowledge of English and her then 4-year-old daughter in tow. Thanks to CCNB, Diana is now a confident English-speaker, has her GED and plans to attend Community College next year.
Numerous other Corpsmembers and Corps staff from around the country came to Washington D.C. to attend the event and also participate in a Hill Day on Thursday. We thank them for their participation!

National Council of Young Leaders Meets with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Education via Flickr

On Monday, representatives from the newly formed National Council of Young Leaders met with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Assistant Secretary Deb Delisle, and other senior staff at the Department of Education. The Corps Network’s representatives on the Council, J.R. Daniels and Philan Tree (shown speaking on left) were among those who attended the meeting. 

All members of the Council urged Secretary Duncan to improve the conditions of schools in low-income communities, including teacher, staff, and student resources, and to expand pathways to higher education. The Secretary was interested in J.R.’s thoughts regarding barriers for young people who have had contact with the juvenile or criminal justice systems and in Philan’s suggestions to provide more resources for Native American students. 

Both Secretary Duncan and Assistant Secretary Delisle said they would like the Council’s input on current and future education policy.

2008 Project of the Year: Making Outdoor Recreation More Accessible

Winner: Utah Conservation Corps

Through the "Access to Service Project," Utah Conservation Corps developed service projects to include crew members with disablities. Fifty percent of the 8-person crew self-identified as having a physical disability. Disabilities among members included quadriplegia, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury and cerebral palsy.

In the first of their two main projects, the inclusive crew partherned with the US Forest Service to conduct an accessbility evaluation of the Wasatche-Chache National Forest and create a transition plan to help them meet federal requirements. They developed a user-friendly accessbility survey form that has become the standard for the region. They completed accessbility surveys for 8 campgrounds and 2 trails and developed 10 transition plans, immediately addressing the issues identified in one of the transition plans by constructing a fully accessible fishing pier at Second Dam picnic area in Logan Canyon. They partnered with Common Ground Outdoor Adventures, Logan City, local Boy Scouts and the Forest Service to make this happen.

For the second project: an accessible greenhouse and adapted gardening tools. The crew grew tomatoes, peppers, onions, eggplant, squash and herbs in raised beds and table top planters.

Another "Access to Service" goal was to involve people with disabilities in positions of leadership. Andy Zimmer, who has quadriplegia, served as a crew leader. By placing people with disabilities in positions of leadership, outdated stereotypes that limit people with disabilities are shattered and attitudes toward people with disabilities evolve and change. 

2005 Corpsmember of the Year: Jessica Martinez


Jessica Martinez was paroled out of the Youth Authority system a month before applying to the Los Angeles Conservation Corps.  Her primary goal in the Corps was to obtain her high school diploma, and most importantly not to make the same mistakes that she did in the past.  A year later, Jessica has received her diploma, graduated with high honors and has earned a specialist position as a Recruitment and Training Assistant with LACC.  Through her time with the Corps she has made great strides, including receiving a college scholarship and being elected by her peers to the Leadership Team, over which she now presides as president. 

--“I didn’t realize, until I came to the Corps, that I have choices, which have consequences, and if I make positive choices I can make a better life for myself despite the actions of others.”

(written in 2005)

2005 Corpsmember of the Year: Jennifer Mack


Jennifer Mack came to American YouthWorks’ Environmental Corps in Austin via Vermont in the middle of major life decisions and changes. Nonetheless, it was immediately visible to her crew leader that Jennifer was motivated by personal growth, community service and learning.  In overcoming her addictions, Jen constantly challenges herself and seeks new experiences and learning opportunities.  She has cultivated relationships for AYW with local nonprofits and a national park. She has served as a Policy Council Representative, and has become her crew’s amateur botanist.  After completing her term with E-Corps, Jennifer will attend Texas State University for a degree in Biology. 

--“Thanks to AmeriCorps, specifically the Environmental Corps program, I now have a better idea of what aspects I want to include in my education… My term of service has given me the confidence and direction that I needed to go back to school.”

(written in 2005)

2005 Corpsmember of the Year: Erik Hurd


Erik Hurd enrolled in the EOC/Fresno Local Conservation Corps (LCC) in October, 2003 and has served on most crews operating at the LCC.  He has established himself as a leader in this Corps and in the wider Corps community.  In August, 2004, Erik was elected to the Board of Directors of the Conservation Corps Institute, and in November Erik was elected by his peers to be Vice President of the Fresno LCC Corpsmember Council.  Erik is married and he and his wife are expecting their first child in July 2005.  He will continue his education at Fresno City College, concurrent to enrollment at LCC. Erik's major is in Business Administration.  

-- “I’ve learned to set my goals much higher than I might have without this experience.  I’ve realized that I am talented, that I can make a good living to support my family, but I’ve also learned the value and importance of community service."

(written in 2005) 

Conservation Corps Boost Youth Leadership, Community Service and Outdoor Involvement, Study Shows


Editor's Note: this News Release was Originally Published by the Public Lands Service Coalition, of which The Corps Network is a member.

Contact: Destry Jarvis
Phone: 540.338.6970

WASHINGTON, D.C.–-Young people who participate in Conservation Corps exhibit improved leadership skills, community engagement and environmental stewardship according to a recent nationwide evaluation.

The study, conducted by researchers at Texas A&M University, assessed participants from 10 member Corps of the Public Lands Service Coalition against a random comparison group.

Using data collected during the 2011 program season, researchers found that after a season of service, Corps members displayed numerous developmental advantages. These include enhanced leadership and teamwork skills as well as a greater willingness to accept responsibility for personal actions.

Intensified engagement with the land was evinced by stronger interest in outdoor recreation. Ninety-five percent of Corps alumni indicate they plan to go backpacking within the next year, versus just 23% of the comparison group. Another 91% of Corps participants plan to purchase outdoor recreation gear within the next year, and to spend substantially more than their nonparticipant peers.

In addition, Corps participants’ interest in natural resource management careers increased during their service, while non-participants’ interest in such jobs actually declined during the same time period.

“This evaluation offers further proof that Conservation Corps provide important benefits to public lands and the public good, and we encourage our land management agencies to increase service opportunities for America’s Conservation Corps members,” said Mary Ellen Ardouny, Vice President of External Affairs for The Corps Network, formerly known as the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps.

The Public Lands Service Coalition represents 36 Conservation Corps whose 17,000 members complete crucial maintenance on America's public/tribal lands and waters.

Coalition Members

American YouthWorks • Backcountry Horsemen of America • Calif. Assn of Local Conservation Corps • California Conservation Corps • Campfire USA • Canyon Country Youth Corps • Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia • Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy, Inc • Coconino Rural Environment Corps • Colorado Youth Corps Association • Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa • EarthCorps • Greater Miami Service Corps • Groundwork USA • Los Angeles Conservation Corps • Montana Conservation Corps • National Congress of American Indians • National Parks Conservation Association • National Wildlife Federation • Nevada Conservation Corps • Northwest Youth Corps • Operation Fresh Start • Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (CO) • Sequoia Community Corps • Sierra Club • Southeast Alaska Guidance Association • Southwest Conservation Corps •Student Conservation Association • The Corps Network • The Wellness Coalition • The Wilderness Society • The Y • Utah Conservation Corps • Vermont Youth Conservation Corps •Veterans Green Jobs • Washington Conservation Corps

Green For All and The Corps Network Collaborate in Creating Green Careers Pathways for Low-Income Youth


by Vien Truong, Senior Associate, Green For All & Sally Prouty, President and CEO, The Corps Network

Green For All (GFA) and The Corps Network (TCN) are proud to work together tackling one of our nation's most pressing problems: youth employment and career pathways. All too often, future jobs will be out of reach to our nation's youth, especially those in low-income communities and communities of color.

At the Clinton Global Initiative's CGI America meeting, both TCN and GFA will be promoting the role of green jobs in solving problems of pollution and poverty. During the conference, which takes place on June 29 - 30, TCN will be announcing the upcoming release of a new resource: A Green Career Pathways Framework: Postsecondary and Employment Success for Low-Income Disconnected Youth. Green for All, which was launched at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2007, will also be attending the convening to discuss creating good, green jobs that have career pathways and pathways out of poverty for all communities.

TCN's seminal white paper shows the opportunities in the green economy and its potential to offer a pathway out of poverty for low-income young adults, many of whom have disconnected from school, are struggling to find a way into the economic mainstream, or both. This correlates with GFA's efforts to develop and grow career pathways and pathways out of poverty for low-income and disconnected youth through our Youth Employment and Leadership Ladders (YELL) Community of Practice, which is co-chaired by TCN and the Wangari Maathai Center for Sustainable Cities and Schools. Through the YELL working group, our organizations will develop and share resources that create and sustain effective youth workforce training programs; research and provide best practices and strategies for removing barriers to training and employment for youth; and share other resources towards helping prepare youth for, and connect youth to, green collar jobs.

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, along with heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made nearly 2,000 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 300 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued in excess of $63 billion. The CGI community also includes CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global citizenship,, an online portal where anybody can make a Commitment to Action, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young CGI members for leadership development and collective commitment-making. CGI America is the newest addition to this community. For more information, visit