SCA Celebrates AmeriCorps Week


SCA AmeriCorps Members Nationwide Share Why They Serve

The Student Conservation Association has been a proud partner of AmeriCorps since the founding of our fellow national service initiative in 1993. In collaboration with AmeriCorps, SCA operates extended programs in New York – including SCA’s Adirondack Corps, Hudson Valley Corps, and the new Excelsior Conservation Corps – as well as programs in New Hampshire with New Hampshire State Parks and in Massachusetts with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Conservation. The majority of SCA Corps members and interns receive AmeriCorps Education Awards.

Over the past 24 years, thousands of SCA members have rendered millions of hours of conservation service through these programs. To commemorate AmeriCorps Week, we spoke to dozens of SCA-AmeriCorps members to showcase their work and their commitment to serving their communities.

What are you currently working on?

I have been planning and implementing environmental education lessons for grade school students in Western Massachusetts. I am able to be the type of role model to my students that I never had.

I’m finishing my education season, teaching in a small rural school. I love inspiring kids to be curious about their world. Next up: making improvements to state parks!

I work for the Department of Environmental Conservation in New York City. I travel around the five boroughs of New York promoting conservation, recycling, and sustainability in one of the country’s largest urban areas. By spreading knowledge of the environment, I believe we are planting seeds in the minds of future conservationists and thus protecting our planet.

I am an SCA AmeriCorps Interpretive Ranger in New Hampshire! I LOVE seeing the “Ah-Ha!” moment that kids have when they make the connection between what we teach in the classrooms and what surrounds them outside the classroom.

I just finished writing my own curriculum focused on the Hudson River. I am helping to facilitate workshops to teach other educators how to teach their students about environmental topics.

I am currently teaching environmental science lessons at elementary schools in southern New Hampshire. We bring nature into the classroom, and kids get excited over something as small as a piece of bark. It’s crazy to think we may have a hand in these kids growing up to care about their environment.

What do you get out of service?

I get great experience and new skills. I feel like I’m making the difference in the lives of children, and hopefully inspiring a new generation of environmental stewards. 

I have gained a greater sense of my place in the world and how all of my actions, both positive and negative, affect others.

I get the feeling that I am making a difference and creating connections in a world that goes far beyond my own perceptions.

I receive hope, knowledge, and considerable wisdom.

The thing I love most about volunteering is that all I have to do is pitch in to join a community. I meet people who care about what I care about, and feel that my time is of value.

Every night I go home knowing that I made kids happy. It is so satisfying to know that my students are learning to love and care for the earth at a young age.

For so long I was so self-conscious in front of others, hiding behind nervousness and fear of judgment. Working with the kids in our programs has taught me to enjoy the moment fully and to be more spontaneous, carefree, and joyful in my work and everyday life.

There are so many environmental problems, but I feel like I am part of the solution.

What is one thing you would like to do to expand community service?

I think it would be really great to have more residential AmeriCorps programs in more locations across the US.

I would expand AmeriCorps community service by providing more environmental education with middle and high school kids.

To expand AmeriCorps community service I would create more programs that involve adults in community service and conservation. All ages can rediscover their inner wonder, learn new information, and have a great time doing it!

I think it would be really cool to have AmeriCorps Days through schools for kids to join in and volunteer on projects — that could introduce kids to the program and foster an interest in community service at an early age.

Get the word out on a wider scale! Before this position I wasn’t aware of all the opportunities that exist with SCA and AmeriCorps. Everyone should know about these programs.

I’d expand AmeriCorps community service by doing outreach to more schools to let more youth know what we’re about and what we really do in our programs. If I’d known about AmeriCorps in high school, I would have joined sooner – for the adventure, the hard work, and the great people.

SCA salutes our AmeriCorps members and others “getting things done” in AmeriCorps programs across the US.