The Corps Network Announces 2016 Winners of Corpsmember of the Year, Project of the Year, and Legacy Achievement Awards


WASHINGTON, DC (December 7, 2015)— The Corps Network has announced the winners of the 2016 Corpsmember of the Year Award, Project of the Year Award, and Legacy Achievement Award. The Corps Network presents these three awards on an annual basis to select individuals and organizations from their membership of 120 Service and Conservation Corps across the country. Awardees are chosen through a rigorous application process.

Every year, the Corpsmember of the Year Award is presented to five exceptional Corpsmembers who have exhibited outstanding leadership skills and demonstrated an earnest commitment to service and civic engagement. All winners of the Corpsmember of the Year Award were nominated by their Corps and selected by a panel consisting of representatives from The Corps Network’s staff and Board of Directors, as well as an unbiased group of staff from member Corps of The Corps Network.

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 Corpsmembers with a positive experience and provided meaningful improvements to the local community. Staff from The Corps Network as well as outside reviewers from member Corps select the winners for the award.

The Legacy Achievement Award is presented annually to at least one individual who has been involved in Corps for at least 20 years, 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 member Corps review the Legacy Achievement Award nominations and select the winners.

“We are thrilled to award some of the most extraordinary individuals and programs from our network of member Service and Conservation Corps,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, CEO of The Corps Network.  “From so many deserving applicants, it is always difficult to choose the recipients; The Corps Network is humbled to represent such inspiring Corpsmembers as well as Corps programs that work tirelessly to develop and implement projects that positively impact communities across the nation.” 
The following five Corpsmembers are the 2016 recipients of the Corpsmember of the Year award:

·      Jasmin Angeles – LA Conservation Corps (Los Angeles, CA): Jasmin overcame an unstable adolescence and joined the Corps as a way to support herself. She grew tremendously during the program gaining skills in heavy machinery and power tool operation. She currently serves as an LACC Driver. Jasmin is currently enrolled in college with the goal to eventually earn a master’s degree in wildlife biology.

·      Tim Gunn – The Sustainability Institute (Charleston, SC): Tim learned about the Corps while incarcerated and joined the Corps upon his release. He is recognized as an outstanding leader and mentor. Though the skills he learned in the Corps have made him desirable to employers in the energy efficiency field, Tim continues to serve at the Corps so he can pass his knowledge to younger Corpsmembers. In addition to his service with The Sustainability Institute, Tim is enrolled in college and operates a lawn care business.

·      Ronnie “Keoni” Kikala – Kupu (Oahu, HI): Keoni came to the Corps with little knowledge of conservation practices. Kupu placed him as an intern with the State of Hawaii’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife at the Pahole Rare Plant Facility and Lyon Arboretum. Keoni found his passion, proving his skill and dedication to conservation through multiple projects handling extremely rare native plants. He was ultimately hired by the Lyon Arboretum.

·      Katheryne Lewis – Montana Conservation Corps (Bozeman, MT): Katheryne developed an interest in the outdoors through a backpacking trip in college. Wanting to connect with nature on a deeper level, she joined the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps and later enrolled in the leadership program at Montana Conservation Corps. Katheryne proved to be an exceptional leader and role model, challenging her crews to open their minds to new points of view. Her goal is to see more women and people of color in the conservation field.

·      Angela Noah – Northwest Youth Corps (Eugene, OR): Northwest Youth Corps helped Angela transform from a shy, quiet teenager into an impressive leader. Her positive attitude and encouragement provided steady reassurance to her crewmates in NYC’s Native American Conservation Corps program. Angela’s goal is to help other Native American youth experience the empowerment she felt through engagement in conservation.


The following four projects are recipients of the Project of the Year award:

·      Tiny House: Mobile Energy Education Center.  Project of Civic Works, Baltimore, MD: Corpsmembers constructed a mobile “tiny house” to be used to educate the community about energy-saving practices.

·      Faces of Tomorrow. Project of Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa, St Paul, MN: The Corps provided mentoring and intensive job training to youth from demographic groups that are underrepresented in natural resource management fields.

·      HOPE Crew – Gateway National Recreation Area. Project of New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg, Phillipsburg, NJ: Corpsmembers learned historic preservation techniques and restored a National Park Service building that had been severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

·      Bike Crew. Project of Utah Conservation Corps, Salt Lake City, UT: To reduce their carbon footprint, the crew used cargo bikes to travel between project sites and transport materials.


The following two Corps leaders are recipients of the Legacy Achievement award:

·      Len Price, Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa: Before becoming Executive Director of CCMI in 2005, Len previously served as a Board Member for the Corps and acted as one of the program’s strongest supporters during his years of service as a member of the state legislature. Len was a classroom teacher for 34 years.

·      Dwight Washabaugh, Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps: Dwight has served as Executive Director of SRCC since 1994 when he helped save the program from losing its funding. Over the years he has helped grow the program to offer a high school diploma/GED program and serve thousands of youth.
The winners of all 3 awards will be honored at a ceremony on February 10th on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC as part of The Corps Network’s 2016 national conference, “The Legacy Continues.”  For more information about the conference, please visit


About The Corps Network

The Corps Network provides strategic leadership and support to over 120 of America’s Service and Conservation Corps. Through advocacy, access to funding opportunities and expert guidance, The Corps Network annually enables over 23,000 Corpsmembers, ages 16-25, to strengthen communities, improve the environment and transform their lives through service.

To learn more about The Corps Network, please visit

Media Contact:

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The Corps Network
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