Working Together: AmeriCorps NCCC and the Wells Reserve
Mentioned John Speight
There’s no one on Laudholm beach when Moose 5, the AmeriCorps team that will spend the next five weeks at the Wells Reserve, arrives at low tide. It’s windy, raw, and the snow has started, but they seem in no hurry to leave. They shrink the chilly gap between their shoulders and ears, and face the ocean.
If not for AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), it’s likely we would not be standing here together. I would not have met Deangelo, who lives just outside of Detroit, or Alondra from Southern California. I would not know about Dexter’s encounter with a large whale off the side of a Navy ship, or that Team Leader Sam has hiked sections of the Appalachian Trail.
And they would not know how beautiful an empty winter beach in Maine can be.
AmeriCorps NCCC engages people between the ages of 18 and 24 in community service projects around the country, as many as 80,000 of them serving at any one time. They build houses; respond to fires, floods, and other emergencies; help veterans re-enter the job market; and support vital education and community programs. Under the guidance and mentorship of our Facilities Manager, John Speight, Moose 5 will, as the AmeriCorps tagline states, Get. Things. Done. They’ll be painters, carpenters, trail stewards, cleaners, movers, and they’ll support the ongoing work of reserve volunteers. Yet, their program faces new political challenges. AmeriCorps is one of many domestic programs facing possible elimination under the first Trump administration budget.
In a recent op-ed, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen asked, "What could bring this country together?" The answer can be found right here on the beach and, later, in the barn workshop, where the group gets a tutorial from Speight on how to make smooth cuts with a mitre saw. Eight people with very different backgrounds coming together to share an experience, solve problems, work hard for the greater good, and learn about the world.
AmeriCorps NCCC will be at the Reserve through April 19th. Welcome Moose 5!
Pictured from left to right: Rich Miller, Samuel Prough, Alma Chavez, Alondra Garcia-Diaz, Devin Bruns, Sam Del Molina (Team Leader), Deangelo Brown, and Dexter Evans.