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2009 Corpsmember of the Year: Arthur Jacuinde
When Arthur Jacuinde enrolled in the EOC/Fresno Local Conservation Corps‘ YouthBuild program in March 2007, he was facing many obstacles in his life. He was unemployed, on Juvenile Parole, a high school dropout with no work experience, and living in a group home.
With the support of the Corps, he enrolled in EOC’s School of Unlimited Learning – a charter high school – to complete his secondary education. After just eighteen months, Arthur passed the California High School Exit Exam and received his high school diploma. With his AmeriCorps Education Award, he enrolled at Fresno City College. Arthur was also selected as a delegate at the National Young Leaders Conference and has begun working on a pilot program, “Our America,” initiated by YouthBuild USA. As part of the project, he is talking to other corpsmembers and encouraging them to share their life stories. He is working on initiating discussions about issues affecting corpsmembers and raising awareness about these issues.
Arthur was also recognized by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Division of Parole Operations for his commitment to change and achieve success.
Arthur is currently enrolled in a second term at Fresno and plans on using his education award to continue furthering his education at Fresno City College in the Fire Academy.
As Arthur says:
“I realize now that nothing is impossible. I have learned a few things about what life is and now I have total control over the outcomes in my life. I now understand the value of my freedom and that even though I cannot change my past, I am in total control of my future.”