VIDEO: Montgomery County Conservation Corps profiled in local news segment


Montgomery County Conservation Corps profiled by Montgomery County Cable for their work helping local youth further their education and gain job skills. See the original video post here

A Tribute to Ladine Daniels, Jr.

This week we received the very sad news that our good friend Ladine “JR” Daniels had passed away during his sleep this past weekend. We, and everyone who loved JR, are extremely saddened by this loss.

For those of you who don’t know JR, he lived in Charleston, South Carolina and was an AmeriCorps Corpsmember in the Sustainability Institute’s Energy Conservation Corps (shown on left in photo above with Sustainability Institute staff members). We first came to know him at The Corps Network when he was selected as a Corpsmember of the Year in 2012. Since that time, JR has continued to work as a staff member for the Sustainability Institute. He has also worked with us and as a member of the National Council of Young Leaders to promote issues he cared deeply about, including the need for re-entry programs for young people who have been incarcerated.


A wake for JR will take place tomorrow evening at 6 pm, and his funeral will be on Saturday at 12 p.m. at Charity Missionary Baptist Church 1544 E. Montague N. Charleston, SC. Flowers may be sent to Hilton’s Mortuary, Inc., 1852 E Montague Ave., North Charleston, SC 29405-5158.

If you would like to send a donation in JR’s honor, please send it to The Sustainability Institute at 113 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401. Memorials and tributes are currently being discussed with JR’s family so that they appropriately honor his memory.

Bryan Cordell, Executive Director of The Sustainability Institute (TSI), wrote the following message about JR to TSI’s Board of Directors:

“Most of you had the privilege of getting to know J.R. at our board and staff retreat or other SI functions. J.R. overcame seemingly insurmountable challenges to become a stellar Corps member, program graduate and shining star of our ECC program. For his leadership and dedication to AmeriCorps he was recognized as a 2012 national Corps member of the year. He also served as a member of the National Council of Young Leaders. We celebrated those things that J.R. achieved, but he was so much more than that to all of us. We soon hired J.R. at SI as the ECC team leader and supervisor where he devoted each and every day to helping the young people in our program find renewed hope and success. J.R. didn't see it as a job, he saw his work with us - and his work in the community - as his purpose. And, he was great at it. We had just made the decision last week to promote J.R. to lead and supervise our new Veterans Corps program, a challenge he was ready to take on and without a doubt would have succeeded at.”


We at The Corps Network definitely agree that JR would have excelled in this role, or any that he chose. He was a member of the Marine Corps, and had proven that he was an excellent motivator. One of his friends wrote the following on his Facebook page: “I served with Ladine Jr. Daniels in the Marine Corps. He was always uplifting and kept our little tight knit crew laughing. A phenomenal young man who has accomplished so much. Gone but not forgotten.”

Our friends at Spark Action in collaboration with The National Council of Young Leaders put together a moving tribute video to JR, that features him speaking.



One of the pleasures we have enjoyed at The Corps Network, is seeing how much JR had embraced his role as a spokesperson and become an even more compelling speaker over the past few years.

For instance, you can
 watch his speech at a recent Congressional Briefing with the National Council of Young Leaders. You can also read an updated “where is he now” story about JR from last year, with some fantastic quotes.

We will miss you JR! You are gone but will certainly not be forgotten.

Boiler Plate: 
This week we received the very sad news that our good friend Ladine “JR” Daniels had passed away during his sleep this past weekend. We, and everyone who loved JR, are extremely saddened by this loss.

National Public Lands Day 2014

 

In celebration of National Public Lands Day 2014, check out our video about Corps and their importance to America's public lands.

[Video] HOPE Crew Partnership Featured on PBS Newshour

Earlier this week, PBS Newshour aired a segment about our new HOPE Crew Partnership with the Trust for Historic Preservation and many other partners. The five minute piece focuses on the historic stable project in Shenandoah National Park, that was recently completed by a Harpers Ferry Jobs Corps / Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia HOPE Crew. We think it's a great watch and encourage you to view it below.

[Video] Civicorps Corpsmember Stars in PBS Documentary, Leaves it Behind as Legacy

An Important Note from Civicorps Executive Director Alan Lessik:  Sharon was due to graduate Civicorps in December with plans to attend college, when Civicorps found out that she died from a heart attack on October 16, 2013. The video is a testament to the perseverance that corpsmembers all over the country feel as they work hard to turn their lives around and to overcome the barriers that they face. Sharon’s final words in the movie talked about her future and how “I really want to make it.”

In the video, Sharon reflected on her past, her gang involvement as well as her family and  discovering Civicorps as the path to a new and different future. It describes her academic and work life at Civicorps and in some footage from in one of the East Bay Regional Parks, she talks about learning new skills and appreciation for the outdoors as part of a crew.

In our community meeting today, we honored Sharon and viewed the film together. All of Civicorps mourns her death  and the greatest honor we can give to Sharon is to bring her words into our hearts and our actions. As one corpsmember said, “She was my age, trying to get to a higher place. So, I’m going to graduate for her. I’m going to go to college for her.”

Twenty-one year old Sharon Montano grew up in east Oakland, California in a neighborhood known as the “Dirty Thirties.” She did fine in grammar school but when she hit middle school she began drinking, smoking, and popping pills with friends whom she’d later lose. In her East Oakland neighborhood, violence was part of her daily life.

Going back to school turned out to be more difficult than she thought. Over the years, she started and dropped out of several remedial programs; then later became ineligible for others because of her age.

When she discovers Oakland’s Civicorps, where she meets other young people who have gone through similar rough situations, she finally gets another shot at a high school diploma — and a future. Sharon has gone from being a bad influence to a role model, and really wants to make it.

Directed by Raymond Telles

More Information on the ITVS website

Boiler Plate: 
Sharon was due to graduate Civicorps in December with plans to attend college, when Civicorps found out that she died from a heart attack on October 16, 2013. The video is a testament to the perseverance that corpsmembers all over the country feel as they work hard to turn their lives around and to overcome the barriers that they face. Sharon’s final words in the movie talked about her future and how “I really want to make it.”

Senator Max Baucus Volunteers with Montana Conservation Corps

Patrick Cote/Daily Inter Lake

On Thursday last week, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) joined Montana Conservation Corps for some trailbuilding fun in the Flathead National Forest. After being damaged by a fire in 2001, the Corps has been working with the U.S. Forest Service for the past two years to restore and maintain the 15 mile Glacier View Mountain Trail. NBC Montana and ABC Fox Montana both covered the story with videos.

According to ABC Fox, Senator Baucus said "What drives all of us, I think, is beauty, the naturalness of our state, connecting with the land, the water, the air. Not only for ourselves, but for our kids, our grandkids, and that's a powerful force."  

NBC Montana also quoted Montana Conservation Corps Executive Director, Jono McKinney: "Though we do a lot of conservation work our mission is about developing young people. Helping them learn job skills, learn to work together in teams, a lot of leadership and communication development...[On the trail project:] When you've finished the work, what you have created is something that will last. So people really have a sense that the work they're doing really has a purpose, a meaning, and made a difference. And that's very rewarding."

Boiler Plate: 
On Thursday last week, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) joined Montana Conservation Corps for some trailbuilding fun in the Flathead National Forest. After being damaged by in 2001, the Corps has been working with the U.S. Forest Service for the past two years to restore and maintain the 15 mile trail.

[Video] Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell Highlights The Corps Network and Student Conservation Association for Volunteer Opportunities in Earth Day Chat

On Monday of this week, our new Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell participated in a special Earth Day webchat.

When asked a question about the Department of Interior partnering with nonprofits and corporations to boost volunteerism on public lands, here's what Secretary Jewell had to say:

[Video] Outgoing Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar Discusses 21st Century Conservation Service Corps in His Final Webchat

Earlier this week, outgoing Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recorded his final webchat. Among all that was discussed, he answered a question about how he hopes the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps will be viewed 10 years from now. The conversation occurs at the 28:30 mark of the webchat, which we have cued up below. Check it out!

We thank Secretary Salazar for being such a great supporter of Corps over his years and have enjoyed honoring him as a federal champion this year, and as the inaugural awardee of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Service and Conservation Corps Leadership Award.

 

Video: Urban Corps Featured on Univision San Diego


Robert Chávez, CEO of Urban Corps of San Diego, recently appeared on Univision's Despierta San Diego morning show. He was joined by Carlos Pastrana, a former Corpsmember.   

Click here to watch the video (title "Urban Corps," posted 6:40 a.m. PDT, March 28, 2013)

They can dance, too!: Video of California Conservation staff member and Corpsmembers goes viral


 

Our friend John Griffith and two Corpsmembers (Antwon McCoy and Leonard Patton) with the California Conservation Corps have become an overnight internet sensation! 

Back in August, John posted a video on YouTube of him dancing with Antwon and Leonard. The video captures John, dressed in a wide-brimmed hat and CCC uniform, spontaneously demonstrating some of the moves he’d learned from his Corpsmembers. The end of the video shows Antwon and Leonard clearly surprised (and amused) by their supervisor’s dance skills. After the video was posted to the social news website Reddit this past week, people started going crazy for the cool, “cowboyish boss” with the dance moves. It has now been viewed well over a million times!

The video has popped up on a wide variety of websites and news programs. John, Antwon and Leonard have been interviewed several times over the past few days. Click the links below for coverage of the video, or click here for our Huffington Post article on John’s background and his new environmental book for urban youth, Totem Magic: Going MAD.  

  • NPR – “Two Dance Videos that’ll Make Your Day”
  • HLN – “Surprise! Boss Busts a Move” 
  • ABC – “The YouTube Dance Icon You’d Least Expect”
  • Outdoor Afro – “John Griffith Can Bust a Move – For Nature”
  • Gawker – “Nerdy Boss Learns Dance Moves from Employees then Teaches them How it’s Done”
  • The Huffington Post – “John Griffith Learns to Dance”
  • WORLDSTARHIPHOP – “California Conservation Corps Members Teaching their Boss to Dance to Travis Porter’s Ayy Ladies!”
  • Mashable – “Nature Nerd’s Fly Dance Moves Guaranteed to Make Your Day”
  • The Daily Mail – “Awkward Boss Learns Dance Moves from His Young Employees – then Shows them How it’s Done in this Hilarious Video”
  • The Sacramento Bee – “California Conservation Corps Dance Video Goes Viral”
  • Facebook
  • North Coast Journal – “Nerdtastic Local CCC Mountainman/Boogie God John Griffith”
  • The Today Show
  • California Statewide Law Enforcement Assoc. – “Good Natured Conservationist Gets His Groove On”

 

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