Where are they now? Updates from The 2014 Corpsmembers of the Year

 

Jon Brito 

Since the conference I have completed my fellowship with Hawaii Energy through a program of Kupu, called RISE. Through various technical retrofits and behavior changing programs, we helped save tens of thousands of kWh from Hawaii's electrical grid. This saved barrels of oil used and reduced CO2 emissions across the board.

I am still in school, still working towards my Electronic Computer Engineering degree on Maui through the University of Maui. I am also working on a GIS certification.

Something I have gained through my experience in the Corps is some amazing networking opportunities. Doing my GIS certification has led us to map out some of Maui's premiere environments and preserves. There is also this need to continue my work in conservation even though I currently am not directly employed.

I still continue to volunteer at the fishpond, and have cleared a whole shoreline of the invasive mangrove. Roughly 3 acres have been removed from the time I started at the fishpond. Currently I am still looking for more volunteer opportunities, but I am lucky because on Maui they are plentiful.


 

Edgar Galvez

Hi, everyone. This is Edgar Galvez - I attended The Corps Network 2014 conference as a Corpsmember of the Year. Let me tell you, that conference was amazing. I had a blast in DC, and getting to know the other Corpsmembers of the year. After the conference I came back home and started working for the union.  There have been so many projects that I’ve been working on, like schools, freeways, bridges. It's been incredible to see how things are built and destroyed.

I also go back to Fresno YouthBuild and talk to the new Corpsmembers that are coming in about my life, and how the Corps changed my life, and how it could happen to any of them if they truly believe in themselves.

The other wonderful thing that happened after the conference is that my wife just gave birth to my baby boy, Damian. It's truly a blessing.

What I gained from the conference is public speaking experience. That was my biggest fear or obstacle, but ever since I read my speech in front of all those people I believe in myself more. When it's time to speak in a group or conference, I think I can handle it now. 


 

Eliseo Nunez 

I woke up this morning and noticed my doormat was backwards. Instead of wondering what happened, right away my love for life made it clear.

“Welcome to planet earth, anything is possible!”

Since my trip to D.C. I’ve really been putting in the time and effort to make San Diego a better place. Clearly it has not only been an amazing opportunity for me to grow, but I feel that I have planted thousands of seeds. For starters, I am now a full time supervisor with San Diego Urban Corps. I find it hard to forget where it all began. My plan is to be the best supervisor I can be and to keep furthering my education. When it’s time to go, I’ll have such an amazing bag of tools I can use out there to keep making my city a beautiful place.

The San Diego Union Tribune has written two articles about me, the city council has awarded me with my own day in early March. Last night I just got a certificate of appreciation signed by an honorable judge here with the superior court. Everyone asks who, what, why?

Well, going back to my doormat. Nothing has changed, I welcome each day with open arms. I do my best to find the gain in the pain, the good in the bad, and the happy in the sad. Thank you guys for sharing these special moments with me and I pledge to continue to take it one day at a time!!!!!


 

Linda Santana

Since the conference, I’ve moved back to Los Angeles, CA. During the summer, most of my time was spent volunteering at a high school and doing things with my family. Most recently I got a job working for an afterschool program. I work with 2nd grade students, not only helping them with their homework but also providing them with other activities that will allow them to be successful.

As I reflect back on the past year and my term with RMYC, I can’t help but feel grateful for the experience the Corps provided me with. It inspired me, gave me confidence and provided me with personal growth. Although currently I’m not working in an outdoor/ conservation field, the skills I learned have helped me tremendously. My leadership skills have improved, I’m more assertive when it comes to getting things done but I’m also conscious of when I need to step back and allow others to do their job. I learned to have patience and let things go. Living in L.A. my personal as well as professional lifestyle are different but I still find time to go on occasional hikes and am trying my best to live a healthier and more fit lifestyle. 


 

 

Ruby Simonian

After my California Conservation Corps experience, I am now working for State parks in the beautiful redwoods of northern California. I will always take my corps experience with me in my future endeavors and will forever be grateful for my past excursions. I plan on continuing school and working towards my goal to become an ecopsychologist.

 

 


 

Candace Washington

Since the conference I have continued being actively engaged in public environmental events. Shortly after the conference I was invited to New York City for a fundraiser for Civicorps by Reeta, she is on the board of directors for Civicorps.  In May I was asked to be the emcee and say a speech to over two hundred people for Civicorps’ Gala. This was also an event to raise money for corpsmembers who graduated and went off to college.

I am still enrolled and attending community college where I am earning my credits needed to transfer. Currently I am working at the City of Oakland Environmental Services division; I received a one year extension. I was also offered a possible permanent position that pays twice as much as what I make now with the City of Oakland Public works call center. I have accepted the offer and I will start next year once I have a full two years of public experience.