An Interview with Dwight Washabaugh, a 2016 Corps Legacy Achievement Award Winner

Dwight Washabaugh of Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps was selected as a 2016 Corps Legacy Achivement Award Winner. We interviewed Dwight to learn more about him and his experience in the Corps movement. Click here to read Dwight's bio. 

How did you become involved in Service and Conservation Corps?  What were you doing before?

For 20 plus years prior to being involved with Service and Conservation Corps, I had been the Controller, Director of Development and Executive Director for a faith based organization. Next I did independent consulting for nonprofit organization for 3+ years facilitating strategic planning, consulting related to data management and serving as a contract administrator for a nonprofit organization.

While it is unheard of in today’s world, I was reviewing the job classified ads in two northern California newspapers and found the Sacramento Regional (Local at that time) Conservation Corps was seeking an Executive Director.  The combination of working with youth and the environment peeked my interest and I applied; and thirty days later I was offered the position and began a steep learning curve with a wonderful 21+ year career until I retired March 31, 2015.


Who are some of your heroes?  What did they do to inspire you?

Two groups:

  • Historical

Jesus – Inspired by his teachings and his actions.

Abraham Lincoln – Inspired by his leadership skills and determined focus.

  • Personal

A.     Business man and board member in my first nonprofit experience who when he graduated with his MBA from Harvard, his goal was to be president over the years of 10 different companies.  He has accomplished that goal.  I was inspired by his combined focus of the mission of the organization and the bottom line to create a successful organization and program.

B.     Ira Okun and Bruce Saito within the Corps movement:  I was inspired by both men as they helped me with the steep learning curve of directing a Corps and building relationships with government leaders.


Describe some of your most memorable experiences working with Corps programs.

My most memorable experiences occurred between me and the corpsmembers.  Topping the list were the opportunities to hear their stories about how they grew and were successful during their participation in the Corps program.  These experiences were much greater than the mere statistical accomplishments.  Their successes brought deep convictions of change in their lives, which also brought a richness to our community and to my personal experience.


Given your experience, what is the primary piece of wisdom you could provide to Corpsmembers?

I would share with corpsmembers the importance of letting go of the past and to focus on the opportunities they can achieve going forward. Be proud of who you are and strive to do your very best in every endeavor.  Begin by investing the time in the Corps program and   opportunities that are available to you, and participate fully.  Be honest with yourself and others.


What is the primary piece of wisdom you would provide to staff at Corps?

Work as a team to provide a strong, viable and meaningful program that supports, encourages and challenges each corpsmember participant.  Demonstrate to the Corpsmembers that each staff member cares.  Each staff member must “model” him/herself in his/herself day-to-day actions as a professional, caring person and leader.  Actions speak louder than words.


In the future, what developments would you like to see happen in the Corps movement?

The Corps movement today and the original Civilian Conservation Corps of the Depression era is a well kept public secret.  I would like to see a comprehensive ongoing National marketing plan using television, bill boards, newspapers and social media that spreads the word about Service and Conservation Corps and the multiple benefits to every community.

Secondly, I would like to see federal funding, similar to that of Job Corps for Service and Conservation Corps that would compliment State and local funded work training and service projects.


What do you hope your legacy will be?

My hope is that my legacy has built a strong foundation for the continued growth of the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps as a significant part of the community fabric serving young men and women in the region with training and education while providing a meaningful workforce for important urban conservation and environmental needs.


SRCC celebrates 30 years at 17th Annual Breakfast on the River Event

Press Release issued by the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps

The Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps’ (SRCC) 17th Annual Breakfast on the River Event Celebrating 30 years of serving Sacramento’s young adults, ages 18 – 25 was held on Friday June 6th at Discovery Park where the Sacramento and American Rivers merge.

Guests visited interactive display booths show casing the paid work experience projects and education and training the corpsmembers receive while working on projects that benefit the community.  They heard success stories from four SRCC Alum and two current Corpsmembers were awarded the Corpsmember of the Year Award.  One from the Sacramento Main Center and one from the SRCC’s City Citrus Heights Satellite.

The Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps is Sacramento’s largest education and paid workforce training program for young adults.  Established by the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the SRCC has been empowering young adults through opportunities for education and paid work experience for three decades.  The Corps currently serves Sacramento, Yolo, El Dorado, Placer and eastern Solano Counties enriching lives and benefiting the Region.

California Students Reap Rewards for Recycling



Taken from Valley Community Newspaper

Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), the American Chemistry Council (ACC), Keep California Beautiful (KCB) and the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps (SRCC) today announced the winner of the Read, Write, Recycle! Challenge, a recycling contest for students in the San Juan and Natomas School Districts that teaches the importance and value of recycling.

Students from Whitney Avenue Elementary School emerged as the grand-prize winners after collecting and recycling 1,124 pounds of plastic, aluminum, glass and paper during the five-week contest. Today, the students received the $1,000 grand prize for their achievement. Along with the grand prize, one participating school in each of the two school districts was awarded a district level prize of $500. Witter Ranch Elementary School claimed victory in the Natomas School District and Whitney Avenue Elementary won in the San Juan School District.
In total, the six participating schools helped recycle a grand total of 2,892 pounds, more than one ton, of materials throughout the competition, including 467 pounds of plastics. The six participating schools included: Natomas Park Elementary, Heron School, H. Allen Hight Elementary, Greer Elementary, Witter Ranch Elementary and Whitney Avenue Elementary.

“The students at all of these schools should be proud of what they have accomplished by being part of Read, Write, Recycle!,” said Dr. Pan, a local pediatrician and State Assemblymember. “They should also know that, by recycling, they are connected to a larger effort to protect our environment, creating a healthy planet and healthy futures.”

“The efforts of the students in the San Juan and Natomas School Districts are phenomenal. The more we can do to spread the word about recycling among kids, the more kids can take that knowledge and apply it in their everyday lives,” said Steve Russell, vice president of ACC’s Plastics Division.

“It’s amazing how much our students, as well as the staff, learned about recycling by participating in this program,” said Vincent Arias, principal at Whitney Avenue Elementary. “Educating and involving students in recycling at the elementary school age will help ensure that they will continue recycling as they grow up.”

A total of 165 elementary school classes from the six schools participated in this five-week recycling challenge. In total, more than 4,300 students participated in the program, learning valuable lessons about recycling.

“The Read, Write, Recycle! Challenge has been a welcome addition to our ongoing conservation efforts and work training program,” said Dwight Washabaugh, executive director of the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps. “Partnerships like these help ensure that the SRCC can provide the kind of on-the-job career experience that our corps members need.”

The Read, Write, Recycle! program was first conducted in February of 2012 in San Gabriel County where 1,500 students recycled more than 11,000 pounds of materials. Building on the success of this initial program, Assemblymember Dr. Pan and the partners brought the competition to Sacramento in the fall of 2012.

Read, Write, Recycle! is the latest recycling effort supported by ACC under the Plastics. Too Valuable to Waste. Recycle.™ campaign. ACC also works with LA’s BEST, an after-school enrichment program in Los Angeles, to educate students about recycling, and ACC is a key sponsor of Recycle. Goal., a recycling contest between young soccer players in Southern California and the Central Valley.


To learn more about Read, Write, Recycle!, please