In Environmental Corps I have the privilege of working with many colleagues that inspire me with their work ethic, perseverance, and optimism. I am most impressed by the E-Corps members who show up with a smile on their face, put in a hard day’s work, and then go home to their second job- being a parent. E-Corps parents know how to build trails, run chainsaws, and change diapers. When they show up to American YouthWorks on time and prepared for the day, I know that they got up early to get their child ready for preschool as well. I am impressed by their dedication.
When asked about their personal goals, they ubiquitously state that they are not only in E-Corps because they care about the environment; they are also here to make a better future for themselves and their family. It’s a physically and mentally demanding job, but there are undeniable perks to being able to support their families with a steady wage, work towards graduation, and earn a scholarship for higher education simultaneously. I love speaking with them about their plans after graduation, and it is always exciting when they talk about wanting to continue conservation work as a career in the future. In addition, they help inspire the next generation of environmental stewards, as they often take their kids to site on the weekends to hike and see what they’re working on.
They are great crew members, and they really understand how to help make the crew love each other like family. They are great parents because they are a great example for their kids; they work to help the community, and embody the mission of AmeriCorps- they get things done for America! As a crew leader, it is pleasure to work with young men and women that not only fulfill their responsibilities as crew members, but also inspire all of us to challenge ourselves to aim high and fulfill our goals, in spite of hardship or obstacles. The parents of E-Corps show us all that with intention, hard work, and a positive attitude, we can all achieve success.
Madeline Enos – SLA Crew Leader