I cannot convey enough the benefits that WCC has not only provided for the state, but also the benefits it provides for those fortunate enough to serve as members. I was a crew leader in 2011 and though I had been in the state for almost 3 years, it wasn’t until my summer of service and those 60 nights under the stars, that I fell in love with Wyoming. Spending almost three months traveling about this diverse state, working outside on the plentiful public lands, it not only made me love this state, it made me want to stay. And here I am, 4 years later, still in love with Wyoming and still reaping the benefits of my AmeriCorps service. I got to graduate college with substantially less debt that my average fellow classmate because of my AmeriCorps education award. I got a job at a competitive and prestigious environmental consulting firm, because in my interviews they said they liked that I had been an AmeriCorps member and served with the Wyoming Conservation Corps. In addition to benefitting my education, my career, and confirming a home I would love, it still benefits me, every weekend that I get to hike or bike the trails built by the members and volunteers of WCC.
This state is currently facing a problem with retaining the professionals of my generation. 60% of all 18 year old workers in Wyoming will leave the state within the next ten years. This problem has grown to the extent it has become a common discussion in legislation and it has our Governor sending out handwritten letters. This working demographic is crucial to the success of an economy, and it is depleting in Wyoming. But I have seen the retention capabilities of the Wyoming Conservation Corps for keeping young professionals in Wyoming. I am one of many WCC alumni who have found love, residency, and employment in Wyoming that otherwise wouldn’t have, if not for my experience through WCC. So, as a young professional of Wyoming, let me state that if you want to retain young professionals, don’t defund the programs that create them.
ANDREA HARRINGTON --Wyoming Conservation Corps’ AmeriCorps Alum
AmeriCorps has allowed us the opportunity to recruit more volunteers to serve more children. The most exciting piece for our organization is that AmeriCorps has allowed us to bring in a wide variety of people with different skill sets, personalities, and diversity. With our very diverse population of clients, this has allowed us to better meet the needs of the people we serve. We currently have an AmeriCorps volunteer that is responsible for doing activities with our unmatched children. In the past, when we have tried to invite these kids to an activity, the response is usually about half. Our AmeriCorps member decided that half was not enough and decided to set a personal goal to get at least 90% attendance. Thus far, she has gotten 100%. She has been very methodical about the activities that she planned and has called and given them personal invites and even been willing to go and pick the kids up. She has eliminated all of the barriers and is now starting to see them come to more activities because the kids don’t want to miss out. These activities have allowed the rest of the staff to get better acquainted with the children and thus do a better job of matching.
“The Natrona County Public Library (NCPL) is extremely fortunate to have many dedicated volunteers who regularly help throughout the library. Their hard work improves library service for every member of our community and frees up staff to work on other important projects. Library volunteers receive many benefits from volunteering, including meaningful interaction with library staff, and having a positive impact on other community members. It is our hope that all nonprofits are able to build such mutually-beneficial volunteer relationships. This was the purpose of the Volunteer Fair held March 2nd in the library’s Crawford Room. This partnership between ServeWyoming and NCPL was a huge success, with over 20 organizations on hand and 100 people attending. Volunteers learned about each nonprofit and its needs, while nonprofits became acquainted with volunteers’ backgrounds and skills. The matches made that day will continue to benefit our community for years to come.”
“Clinton, just a note to thank you for everything you've done for me personally and for the organizations I have been associated with. The assignment you arranged for me at Interfaith has been a real eye opener as far as the help that is given to the residents of Natrona County and Casper in particular. The staff at Interfaith is extremely dedicated to their clients and in helping volunteers to absorb the many facets of social work. Joshua's Storehouse dispenses much needed foodstuffs to the residents of Natrona County and is a great aid to Interfaith in their continued support of the agencies of the county. The college’s Tate and Werner Wildlife museums have been wonderful as far as imparting knowledge of Wyoming's past and being able to spread a little of that to the patrons of the museums. All in all the above named agencies are among the many that could not survive without volunteers, and your service in locating willing volunteers is an invaluable aid to all. THANKS for the efforts on my behalf and in the securement of people to volunteer for all the agencies in Casper and Natrona County.”
AmeriCorps has given the Wyoming Conservation Corps credibility across the state of Wyoming and opened doors to work with organizations based on our association with the greater AmeriCorps system. I have spoken with many new partners who served with AmeriCorps in various parts of the country, and they are excited to create opportunities for members like they had during their service term.