The Corps Network Announces Winners of the 2019 Corpsmember of the Year, Project of the Year and Legacy Achievement Awards
Awardees to be recognized in Washington, DC at Resilience,
The Corps Network 2019 National Conference, February 10 – 13
WASHINGTON, DC [December 19, 2018] – The Corps Network, the national association of Service and Conservation Corps, today announced the winners of the 2019 Corpsmember of the Year, Project of the Year and Legacy Achievement Awards. Honorees will be recognized at Resilience, The Corps Network 2019 National Conference, taking place February 10 – 13 in Washington, DC.
These three awards represent the highest honors The Corps Network grants and are a significant achievement within the national Corps movement. The awards are presented on an annual basis to select individuals and organizations from The Corps Network’s membership of more than 130 Service and Conservation Corps across the country. Recipients are chosen through competitive nomination and review processes.
The member Corps of The Corps Network annually engage more than 25,000 young people. Every year, The Corps Network presents the Corpsmember of the Year Award to select young adults and veterans who, through their service in Corps, have demonstrated personal growth, outstanding leadership skills, and sincere commitment to community and country. Winners of the Corpsmember of the Year Award were nominated by their Corps and selected by staff at The Corps Network. The 2019 Corpsmember of the Year Award is generously supported by Delaware North.
Four Project of the Year Awards are presented on an annual basis to Corps that have undertaken especially influential or innovative endeavors within the past year. Projects of the Year are noteworthy for their ability to provide both a positive experience for Corpsmembers and meaningful improvements to the community. Winners of this award are nominated by Corps and selected by staff at The Corps Network.
The Legacy Achievement Award is presented annually to at least one individual who has a decade or more of experience with Corps. The Legacy awardee is someone who has contributed to the Corps movement in a significant way and served in a senior leadership position at a Corps or multiple Corps. Influential leaders in the Corps movement and senior staff from The Corps Network’s membership review the Legacy Achievement Award nominations and select the winners.
“There are countless ways in which America’s Service and Conservation Corps help build the resiliency of our country,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network. “I am continuously inspired by the impactful projects Corps complete; the hard work of the thousands of Corpsmembers who participate in Corps every year; and the dedication of Corps staff. While all the people and organizations The Corps Network represents should be commended for their service, we should look to the winners of these three awards as leaders in the Corps movement’s mission to ‘strengthen America through service and conservation.’”
The winners of the 2019 Corpsmember of the Year award – supported by Delaware North – are as follows:
Green City Force (NY)
A resident of Staten Island, Justin Baker served as an AmeriCorps member with Farms at NYCHA, a Green City Force program through which Corpsmembers help build and maintain urban farms in low-income communities. Justin became known for his ability to provide farm-related educational programming to diverse audiences, earning him the respect of his peers, supervisors, and city officials. Justin’s dedication to giving back is such that he earned more service hours than anyone else in his cohort, despite coming from the furthest borough in New York City.
Read more about Justin
San José Conservation Corps and Charter School (CA)
With her strong work ethic, Paola has achieved a great deal during her time with the San Jose Conservation Corps & Charter School (SJCC & CS). Over a two-year timeframe, she has completed four AmeriCorps terms of service, obtained her high school diploma, and successfully gained hands-on job experience in the Corps’ Environmental Projects Department and Recycling Department. She achieved these accomplishments while also taking college classes and managing the responsibilities of being a single mother to her 3-year-old daughter. Paola has gone above and beyond, attending volunteer activities on the weekend, and helping her peers register for college, update their résumés, and access supportive services.
Read more about Paola
Weber Basin Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center (UT) & Schenck Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center (NC)
Originally from Sudan, Abdusalam Ibrahim came to the United States in 2015 as a refugee. After obtaining his high school diploma and a certification in auto mechanics at Clearfield Job Corps Center, Abdusalam enrolled at Weber Basin Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center, where he excelled in both the Office Administration program and Wildfire program. In addition to his work in the office, Abdusalam was repeatedly dispatched on wildland fire crews because those he worked with appreciated his motivation, tireless enthusiasm, and willingness to learn. Recently, Abdusalam was accepted into the rigorous Schenck Job Corps Advanced Wildland Fire Management Program.
Read more about Abudsalam
Limitless Vistas, Inc. (LA)
Jasmine Poole completed two AmeriCorps terms at Limitless Vistas, Inc. through the Opportunity Youth Service Initiative and now serves as a crewmember with GulfCorps, a 2019 Project of the Year. Growing up in a city, Jasmine had few opportunities to experience nature, but she quickly displayed an enthusiasm and skill for conservation and preservation-related work. During her time with LVI, she has steadfastly maintained a positive attitude and eagerness to learn while working on a range of projects on public lands. Jasmine’s hard work has not gone unrecognized: project sponsors often request her by name.
Read more about Jasmine
Mt. Adams Institute – VetsWork Environment (SC)
After serving as a Naval Officer, Elamon White turned to the Mt. Adams Institute VetsWork program as a gateway to pursuing a career in natural resources. As an AmeriCorps member with VetsWork, Elamon has made major contributions to the volunteer and youth programs on the Andrew Pickens Ranger District. She has led service projects as well as Youth Conservation Corps crews, and been a major asset in building relationships with local volunteer groups. Among other accomplishments, Elamon implemented an improved system for tracking service projects; spearheaded the construction of an accessible trail; and developed a mechanism for helping volunteers earn saw certifications.
Read more about Elamon
Trapper Creek Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center (MT) & Grafton Job Corps Center (MA)
Levi White has a passion for helping others. He came to the Trapper Creek Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center looking for a fresh start and took every opportunity that was offered. Levi became known for his infectious enthusiasm and big heart, winning the respect of his peers and supervisors. On campus, Levi served as a student guide and helped ensure newly enrolled students had a support system to navigate the program. After succeeding in the Trapper Creek Fire Crew and Trail Crew, he graduated and moved to Massachusetts, where he is now enrolled in the Human Service Worker Advanced Trade Program at Grafton Job Corps. Levi hopes to go to college and study social work and political science so he can improve peoples’ lives on both the macro and micro levels.
Read more about Levi
The winners of the 2019 Project of the Year award are as follows:
Bear Mountain Trails Project
New York – New Jersey Trail Conference (NY)
Supported by AmeriCorps
In the fall of 2018, New York-New Jersey Trail Conference completed the Bear Mountain Trails Project, the most ambitious rehabilitation of the Appalachian Trail (AT) ever conducted. After 90 years, the Bear Mountain trail had been “loved to death.” Saving one of the oldest and most heavily used portions of the AT required full-time attention by the Trail Conference’s AmeriCorps-supported Conservation Corps. This project helped to build a better, safer, more sustainable trail for park visitors and also develop a pool of trained volunteers to maintain trails throughout the Hudson River Valley.
Construction Apprenticeship Readiness Program
Urban Corps of San Diego County (CA)
Urban Corps of San Diego County’s Construction Apprenticeship Readiness Program (CARP) provides young adults with the support to overcome past challenges and succeed in construction-related apprenticeships. CARP engages Corpsmembers who have not completed high school and who may face barriers to employment. While in the program, Corpsmembers attend classes towards completing their high school requirements and undergo the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3), a comprehensive training to prepare students for success in a building trades apprenticeship. In addition to learning through classroom instruction, Corpsmembers gain hands-on construction experience through community service projects. At the completion of the program, Corpsmembers move into accredited apprenticeships, construction-related jobs, or further education.
Verde Community Impact Collaborative
Spearheaded by YouthWorks, the Verde Community Impact Collaborative – known as the Verde Project – is a cross-sector partnership to address poverty and climate change in Santa Fe, NM. Ten partners, representing diverse organizations, agencies and businesses came together and identified four priority issues to address in their community: food insecurity; climate change-related concerns; housing insecurity among youth and young adults; and high unemployment among youth and young adults. Over a 14-month period, YouthWorks engaged Corpsmembers, most of whom are “Opportunity Youth,” in programs that address each of these priority issues.
American YouthWorks, CLIMB Conservation Corps, Conservation Corps of the Forgotten Coast, Limitless Vistas, Inc., the Student Conservation Association
Launched in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, GulfCorps is a collaboration of The Nature Conservancy, the Student Conservation Association (SCA), American Youthworks, Limitless Vistas, Inc., CLIMB Conservation Corps, and Conservation Corps of the Forgotten Coast. The purpose of the initiative is to engage local young adults in resiliency and resource management projects across the five-state area of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Supported by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), made possible with funding from the RESTORE Council, all GulfCorps projects are designed to not just repair damaged habitats, but directly improve the environmental resilience of the five states involved. GulfCorps projects help strengthen coastlines, reduce combustible materials on public lands, manage surface water flow, and maintain the natural food chain. Through their service, Corpsmembers gain valuable experience and skills to succeed in the growing restoration economy.
The winner of the 2019 Legacy Achievement Award is:
Outdoor Recreation & Park Services, LLC
Formerly of The Corps Network and the Student Conservation Association
Destry Jarvis has spent more than four decades working professionally in the parks, recreation, historic preservation, tourism, and youth service fields. He has served in senior positions for non-profit associations, for-profit corporations, the U.S. National Park Service, and as a consultant. For many years, Mr. Jarvis has been an important advisor to America’s Service and Conservation Corps, providing invaluable guidance to the Public Land Service Corps community in particular. He has helped steer and grow the Corps movement through his steady and reliable counsel and deep knowledge of our country’s resource management policies.
Prior to launching his consulting business, Mr. Jarvis’ professional positions included: Executive Director, National Recreation & Park Association; Vice President, National Association of Service and Conservation Corps (now The Corps Network); Assistant Director, U.S. National Park Service; Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior; Executive Vice President, Student Conservation Association; and Vice President, National Parks Conservation Association.