***Update! Click here to find out what Germain has been up to since he won his award.***
(Written in 2005)
Before Germain Castellanos made the decision to change his life, he was involved with a local gang and participated in various gang activities including drugs and violence. This path caused him to get kicked out of school and convicted of a misdemeanor by age 16. The birth of his daughter served as a wake up call. That’s when Germain joined the Youth Conservation Corps’ NASCC (National Association of Service and Conservation Corps – the former name of The Corps Network) AmeriCorps RuralResponse Program. Now, after supervising kids who were in the same situation he was once in and volunteering for a wide variety of community, faith-based and political organizations, Germain has received his GED, completed one and half years at DeVry University and started courses at College of Lake County in Illinois. Germain is on his way to reaching his goals of becoming an attorney and starting a nonprofit program that works with at risk youth.
— “This experience has shown me that the world is in dire need of help from people who love to help others. The YCC AmeriCorps program has helped me come to the realization that I am one of those people.”
(written in 2005)