LOCAL NEWS

AmeriCorps NCCC Comes to Truth or Consequences

A team of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) members will be working with AppleTree Education Center to create space for a community arts center and mentor area youth. The group of 11 young adults arrived on Nov. 2, and will be serving here until Dec. 14.

The mission of AppleTree Education Center is “meeting the needs of the whole child.” According to AppleTree, this also includes the family and community. They’ve had a huge impact locally. Some of their accomplishments include providing licensed child care, a free teen center, and a home visiting program for families from prenatal to age three to Sierra County residents.

During the six weeks of their service in Truth or Consequences, the NCCC team plans to work on several projects. Their main project will be demolition work at the abandoned Central Christian Church in preparation for its restoration into the OliveTree Community Arts Center. The team will also work with AppleTree Education Center to mentor K-12 students and help out at the Boys & Girls Club to serve community youth.

This is the first AmeriCorps NCCC team to serve with AppleTree Education Center. According to Rebecca Dow, founder and CEO of AppleTree, she applied for an AmeriCorps NCCC team as a resource after “seeing a gap in community services in a rural community and finding creative ways to find partners and volunteers to bring in those resources.”

This is the first of several projects this NCCC team will work on in the course of their 10-month term of service. They began their term on Oct. 8, with three weeks of training at the Denver NCCC campus. After Dec. 14, they will travel to a series of other six- to 12-week projects in communities throughout the southwestern United States. They will graduate from their service on July 24, 2015.

AmeriCorps NCCC (N-triple-C) is a full-time, residential, national service program in which 2,800 young adults serve nationwide annually. During their 10-month term, Corps members – all 18 to 24 years old – work on teams of eight to 12 on projects that address critical needs. Traditional NCCC members work on a variety of different six- to 12-week-long projects related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. Members of FEMA Corps, a new branch of NCCC, focus their projects exclusively on emergency management work in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Southwest Region campus in Denver is one of five regional hubs in the nation and serves eight states in the central and southwest parts of the country. The other campuses are located in Baltimore, Md., Vinton, Iowa, Vicksburg, Miss., and Sacramento, Calif.

In exchange for their service, Corps members receive $5,730 to help pay for college, or to pay back existing student loans. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, travel, leadership development, increased self-confidence, and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, people can indeed make a difference. AmeriCorps NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National & Community Service. The Corporation improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at www.americorps.gov/nccc.

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