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GET TO

THURSDAY, SEPT. 12, 2013 VOLUME XIX, ISSUE 21

THE POINT THE

NEWSLETTER

OF THE

NCCC

ATLANTIC REGION

Whirlwind Raven 4 member Sean Kenyon highlights the challenging, yet rewarding, nature of life as a Corps Member. Page 6

“Are you having fun yet?” Phoenix 4 member Megan Racine shares a brief account of her two-week deployment to a California wildfire. Page 8


CONTENTS

IN THIS

ISSUE 04

Gallery Images from Round 4 projects

06

Feature Whirlwind: Raven 4 member Sean Kenyon highlights the sometimes chaotic, often rewarding, nature of life as a Corps Member

I’m a member of the National Civilian Community Corps, an AmeriCorps Program.

↑ Raven 2 pauses for a full

N-Triple-C members are 18 to 24 and spend 10 months getting things done for America

team photo while working with the

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Feature “Are you having fun yet?”

Volunteer Center of Bergen County (N.J.) to

Phoenix 4 member Megan

replace insulation

Racine shares a brief account of

under trailer homes

her first deployment as an NCCC

damaged by Hurricane

wildland firefighter

Sandy in October 2012.

while developing their own leadership. We serve on teams to help communities prepare

10

Independent Service The Kings and Queens of ISPs:

for and respond to disasters, build homes,

Three interviews with the Atlantic

and help the environment.

Region leaders in Independent Service Projects (ISPs)

To learn more, visit NationalService.gov or call 1.800.942.2677

CONNECT WITH AMERICORPS NCCC ATLANTIC REGION Sam McKenzie, Community Relations Specialist (CRS) Phone: 410.642.2411 Ext. 6244 ● Email: smckenzie@cns.gov

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Community Relations

13

Shout Outs

14

Team Project Map

Mona Hillstrand, Assistant Community Relations Specialist (ACRS) Phone: 202.815.4259 ● Email: rhillstrand@cns.gov Ben Dillon, Community Relations Support Team Leader (CRSTL) Phone: 443.995.7940 ● Email: bedillon.guest@cns.gov

Facebook.com/NCCCAtlanticRegion @AmeriCorpsNCCC NationalService.gov

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SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 | GET TO THE POINT

About the cover Raven 4 members pose amid debris they collected while working with Serve Rhode Island. The winds and flood waters of Hurricane Sandy scattered tons of debris along the Atlantic coastline.


BULLETI N B O ARD

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” — Charles Darwin

remaining With just two months Buffalo the m, in the service ter d the sse pa sur w Unit has no letion. mp co ISP in it Raven Un urs

Percentage of ISP Ho Complete Buffalo: 89.12 Raven: 88.74 Moose: 77.61

Fall Break Check the front desk in 9H for ISP opportunities and schedules for health and wellness shuttles. This weekend is a great opportunity to catch up on ISP hours! GET TO THE POINT | SEPTEMBER 12, 2013

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G ALLERY

Raven 1 members (right), along with AmeriCorps VISTA members from New Hampshire Food Bank and New Hampshire Catholic Charities, met with Governor Maggie Hassan (center) as she signed a proclamation marking Hunger Action Month.

→ Buffalo 3 member Victor Alvarado wields one of the tools of the trailclearing trade: a pole saw with a pruner used to trim branches that are out of arm’s reach. ↓

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Jason Cangelosi, Moose Unit Leader, and Kiara Gales, Moose 4 member, brace a sheet of dry wall while working with the St. Bernard Project to repair New York homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 | GET TO THE POINT


G ALLERY

← Raven 3 member Ian Slingsby applies mortar to cinder blocks while aiding in Hurricane Sandy recovery with Respond and Rebuild in New York. ↑

Moose 4 member Denasia Avery stands amid dozens of garbage bags full of debris her team removed from New York homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Moose 1 member Drew Kingery pauses to appreciate nature while working with Elk Township, P.A., to remove invasive plant species.

← Raven 4 member Gaby Gardose ascends a latter into an attic entryway while working with Midcoast Habitat for Humanity in Rockport, Maine.

GET TO THE POINT | SEPTEMBER 12, 2013

5


FE ATURE

WHIRL WIND BY SEAN KENYON, RAVEN 4

“Through all these changes and adventures we have seen just how much Class XIX has grown and transformed; grown in our team dynamics, learned new skills, and seen so many new places.”

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T

his year, we have made new friends, seen new places and learned new skills. We travel from site to site trying to make an impact on organizations and the surrounding communities. We will cherish the memories we’ve made for years to come. This amazing whirlwind somehow works, despite all the changes that have been thrown at us. Leaving home, changing from pods to permanent teams, losing teammates, and enduring split rounds is proof of how flexible we have become. We left home back in February, temporarily splitting ties and venturing off on our own, most of us for the first time. We didn’t know what it would bring or how our lives would change, but we took the plunge. After a few days, the homesickness faded and the pure joy of the experience started taking place. We made new friends and figured out where we were all from. Still dazed by everything going on, we were thrown into pods. We grew close through the cheesiness of ice breakers and family dinners. Then another curveball came to us: pods were split into permanent teams. Going through all the icebreakers again had us saying, “What’s the point? Just throw us into the work already.” Eager to serve and travel, Corps Training couldn’t end fast enough. As it ended, our teams grew stronger, connections with other teams were made, and we were off to our first spike. But we lost some friends during all of this. Many teams have had this incident happen to them and have been left with a void and abandoned responsibilities to fill. But we did what everyone does after they lose someone: we kept moving forward, kept our heads up, and grew closer to the teammates that were still here. Again, a few months later, teams were made to adjust as people were transferred. But


FE ATURE

“We did what everyone does after they lose someone: we kept moving forward, kept our heads up, and grew closer to the teammates that were still here.�

the wiliness to accept new friends and grow in the bonds already made is what makes this whirlwind experience fun and bearable. With teams constantly changing, we also had to be flexible with the changing spikes and the ongoing composite teams. Composite teams kept teammates anxious about who would be with them on their next round or, if they were going on the composite, who would be on that new team? Other worries would arise, like what role will I get? Who will take my role on my permanent team? Although, after a day with your new composite team, all the anxiousness is swept away. After the composite, being reunited with your permanent team is always a big occasion, like a family reunion. Being back with teammates you know well and who know you brings a sense of peace back to this whirlwind of an adventure. Then, of course, comes the reveal for the next spike! The interesting way that the team leaders revealed our spike locations made it all more exciting to go there. Then the dreaded split rounds started popping up. Two locations in such a short period of time? What difference could we make? But like champs, we did it. We gave it our all to get

things done for America! The goodbyes were sad and often we wished we could stay longer. But split rounds gave us the opportunity to help more people and experience so many new things. With more opportunities comes more traveling and, of course, more packing. Most people would trade the hours in the van for almost anything else, but once everyone figures out their favorite spot in the van, finds their favorite radio station, and shares their favorite stories, we see how much like a family we truly are. The bickering dies down, the random sing-alongs start and the ride becomes something so much more than traveling from point A to point B. Having more spikes, we have enhanced our skills as van packers and we have each become a red-bag-packing extraordinaire. We cram our red bags and the van with such precision, many of us could be considered masters at a game of life-size Tetris. Through all these changes and adventures we have seen just how much Class XIX has grown and transformed; grown in our team dynamics, learned new skills, and seen so many new places. Teams being consistently transformed and adapting shows that, despite all the odds, Class XIX will get things done!

GET TO THE POINT | SEPTEMBER 12, 2013

7


FE ATURE

ARE YOU HAVING FUN YET? Phoenix 4 member Megan Racine shares a brief account of her two-week deployment to the Salmon River Wildfire Complex in northern California

“ARE YOU HAVING FUN YET?” This was the most commonly asked question while I was fighting wildfires in California, and it wasn’t something that I expected to hear so often. Every day we would have to be up and in the vehicles by 5:15 a.m. After breakfast my squad was responsible for transporting multiple cases of water bottles to each of the vehicles. We’d drive back to our campground and have a crew briefing on the day’s tasks. Then we’d hit the road to drive to our designated location and after we parked we’d usually hike for about an hour. During our hike most crew members—including myself—would start feeling their toes rub against the inside of their boots. The packs on our backs were always the heaviest in the morning, so I tried everything I could to keep the weight on my hips. The terrain in Klamath National Forest is anything but forgiving. The slopes seemed to be at a seventy degree angle. Throughout the day I

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SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 | GET TO THE POINT


FE ATURE

would trip and fall and scrape my shins on some rocks or I would get called out on three different occasions because I was doing something incorrectly. I would drink so much water but would never feel hydrated. And then someone would ask, “are you having fun yet?” Even though some situations were tougher than others I can say that I did have fun. We were in a locations that had breathtaking views for miles. Literally, we were up in the clouds on a ridge top at some points. Our team learned how to lay hose, charge the hose with water, and role it back up. Digging line was one of the first things we did on some of the toughest ground. We were lucky enough to participate in a burnout with an engine crew from California where we got to use drip torches and very pistols (flare guns). Sometimes we held line and “staged” for an entire day which was a nice break for most of us and also a good time for me to learn how to play the harmonica. There was also a day where our crew

Throughout the day I would trip and fall and scrape my shins on some rocks or I would get called out on three different occasions because I was doing something incorrectly… And then someone would ask, “are you having fun yet?”

hiked up a mountain side that burnt out to make sure there was no heat after the ash settled. Learning all of these new things and being with such a great crew made for a great experience for all. We had rough times where we didn’t agree with each other but it would be balanced out by playing games and sharing stories during our lunch breaks. So when I was asked, “are you having fun yet?”, whether they believed me or not I looked them in the eye and said, “yes, I am having fun!”

GET TO THE POINT | SEPTEMBER 12, 2013

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INDEPENDENT SERVICE

The

KINGS and

QUEENS ——— of ———

Moose 5 was the first team to reach its goal of 80 ISP hours per member What were the contributing factors to your team's success with ISPs? Moose 5 was in last place in the Moose Unit at the beginning of Round 3. Then Gabriella stepped it up in Massachusetts where the team was doing ISPs every weekend. However, our true success came during our time in West Virginia when Reniecea kicked us into gear. We set a goal of being the first team to finish, and thanks to Reniecea's persistence in setting up ISPs and making sure her teammates were attending, we reached it!

ISPs

Three Interviews with the Leaders in Independent Service Projects (ISPs) How one team came from behind to reach its goal ——— and ——— How two corps members surpassed their goals and just kept going

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SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 | GET TO THE POINT

What has been your favorite ISP? Our favorite was the Relay for Life we did in West Virginia. The whole team attended the beginning, while Reniecea, Greg and Devaughn stayed overnight, working a total of 14 hours! It was great to work with cancer survivors and such a powerful group of people. What was your biggest challenge? The hardest part was getting individuals to attend and setting up ISPs that our team wanted to participate in. Our team has had a year of moving around a lot, so it has been difficult to set up ISPs. Reniecea took advantage of the nearby non-profits in West Virginia, How have ISPs been beneficial to your team? The accomplishment of finishing our ISPs first was a really big boost for our team. To set a goal, and achieve it was a great feeling of success. Attending ISPs allows individuals to work closely together, in small groups and get to know each other, and the community we are working in more.


INDEPENDENT SERVICE

Max Limeberger leads the Corps with 217 ISP hours

How have ISPs benefited you? They have opened my eyes to so many different non-profit agencies and the behind-the-scenes work that goes on. These projects have opened doors for future employment opportunities and have given me the opportunity to dabble around and get a feel for what’s out there.

What were the contributing factors to your success? Honestly, I think time and the willingness to just knock those hours out contributed to my success. Every weekend I was either doing an ISP or an ISP. There was no stopping! I wanted to knock my hours out and then it just took flight. My goal is to reach 300 ISP hours. What has been your favorite ISP? The Pittsburgh International Children's Festival: a three-day festival dedicated to children. How awesome is that!? They had over 30 hands-on, educational and cultural activities, two outdoor community stages, a rock wall, and this threestory inflatable structure that covers the size of a soccer field that taught

the children about natural geometry and architecture. Children from all walks of life were able to enjoy something so beautiful. They had a live petting zoo with goats, pigs, llamas and—here’s the kicker—a zebra and a camel!

Meagan Julian has completed 209 ISP hours, far surpassing her goal of 150

Do you have any advice for others who are trying to finish ISPs? My advice for my fellow colleagues would be to attend every ISP that is setup. Don't let the opportunity pass you by. You just never know what you will get out of going to the eight-hour environmental ISP or serving breakfast at a soup kitchen to individuals who are less fortunate than we are. As we approach disaster season and the end of our term in AmeriCorps, knock the hours out and then kick back.

What has been your favorite ISP? My favorite ISPs were held during summer composite and third round at The Good Mojo Thrift Store in Norfolk, Virginia. The staff were knowledgeable, kind and witty and we had an awesome time sorting (playing around with) the toys and books.

How have ISPs benefited you? It is a great way to meet people from the surrounding community. Not only do I have an impact on them, but they have an impact on my life. It also gets me out of my regular schedule. I can set up ISPs that interest me and have flexibility to work as many hours as I want.

What has been the biggest challenge? The most challenging thing in setting up ISPs is getting the potential sponsor’s voicemail. I was the Project Outreach Liaison (POL) on Phoenix 3 and it took me six days to set up one ISP. I was playing phone tag with the sponsor and that was frustrating at times because this was something the team really wanted to do and I did not want to let them down.

Do you have any advice for others who are trying to finish ISPs? I know making cold calls can be intimidating, so do not be afraid to ask for help if you need it! Take advantage of the ISPs that your POL has worked hard to set up; even if it is not the most exciting ISP, wake up, get dressed, jump in that van, work hard and finish those 80 hours!

GET TO THE POINT | SEPTEMBER 12, 2013

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COMM UNI TY RE LATI ONS

Weekly Updates for Media/CAP Reps. Changes for Round 5

Media Reminders

As noted in my previous email, the Community Relations Department will be transitioning from the Google Portal to NCCC Xchange for all CAP and Media work. If you have not yet done so, please take a few minutes to log in to Xchange. Once logged in, join the CAP or Media group and browse the available resources. All CAP and Media Reps have already been registered for Xchange using their personal email addresses and the same generic password as the Google Portal. Please let me know if you have any trouble logging in.

Submit a yearbook photo of each member of your team by the end of Round 5 transition. All members should wear formal shirts for the photos.

Round 5 yearbook articles and photos, in addition to all missing yearbook articles and photos, are due by October 21.

Due Dates for Round 5 Newsletter Articles: Moose 5 — Oct. 13 Raven 5 — Oct. 20 Phoenix 5 — Oct. 27

Please also note that CAP and Media Plans are not required for Round 5.

TEAM

MEDIA

BUFFALO 1

6

BUFFALO 3

14

1 (30)

1

BUFFALO 4

23

5 (1,011)

2

MOOSE 1

1

Recruitment Partners Near Round 5 Projects

MOOSE 2

3

MOOSE 3

6

MOOSE 4

105

MOOSE 5

4

2 (2)

Sam has contacted the following recruitment partners near Round 5 projects. If no reply is received in two weeks, you should contact the organizations directly. Contact info is located on NCCC Xchange.

17

3 (164)

RAVEN 2

28

1 (30)

RAVEN 3

10

RAVEN 4

4

RAVEN 5

10

TOTAL

231

RAVEN 1

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SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 | GET TO THE POINT

CAP

ALUMNI

APPS

2

CAP Reminders

Moose 2 — Job Corps Wilmington Moose 4 — Job Corps New Haven, Job Corps Pittsburgh

1 2 (42)

1

14 (1,279)

4

Raven 1 — Job Corps Philadelphia, Youth Build Charter School Philadelphia, City Year Philadelphia Raven 2 — Woodstock Job Corps, Freestate Challenge Academy

3


SHOUTS OUTS

Raven 2, you are awesome! Thank you for your time with Kaboom!

We saw a hilarious play Saturday night, Around the World in 80 Days. It was great! We randomly ran into a couple of the actors afterward—very cool. One is from Natalie’s hometown! She won’t stop talking about it. Then we went to the Disney store in Times Square, in which Liz and Ryan ran around the store freaking out. Ryan bought a Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal.

MOOSE 4

MOOSE 2

Elite Team Raven 1 lovingly encourages one and all to become lost in the fun and reverie of the year as it comes to a close!

RAVEN 1

What does that have to do with the price of M&Ms on a rainy day in China without an umbrella?

RAVEN 5

Shout Outs?

MUST HAVE COFFEE

RAVEN 4

Shouts Outs are short messages submitted by teams each week to share with the rest of the Corps. Whatever it may be, a Shout Out is one little way to keep the Corps connected throughout the service term.

Can’t wait to see you, Skylar! We hope you’ve been living it up in Maine!

RAVEN 2

Shout out to all the other teams completing their tasks. Round 4 is almost over. Round 5, bring it on, dood!

PHOENIX 4

GET TO THE POINT | SEPTEMBER 12, 2013

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Where in the Atlantic Region Are They?

Round 4, Week 8

For Round 4, Atlantic Region teams have completed 19 projects across nine states. This week, all teams will return to the Atlantic Region campus in Perry Point, Md., to transition to Round 5 projects. Teams will debrief staff members on their Round 4 accomplishments and brief them on upcoming projects. All teams will deploy for Round 5 projects on Saturday, September 21.

RAVEN 1 Manchester, N.H. New Hampshire Food Bank Urban & Rural Development RAVEN 2 Hackensack, N.J. Volunteer Center of Bergen County Disaster Services BUFFALO 1

MOOSE 1

MOOSE 4

RAVEN 3

Russell, Mass. Appalachian Mountain Club Environmental Stewardship

Elk Township, Pa. The Nature Conservancy Environmental Stewardship

Rockaway, N.Y. St. Bernard Project Environmental Stewardship

Queens, N.Y. Respond & Rebuild Disaster Services

BUFFALO 3

MOOSE 2

MOOSE 5

RAVEN 4

Torrington, Conn. Torrington AHD/MRC Urban & Rural Development

Toms River, N.J. Jersey Cares Disaster Services

Newburgh, N.Y. Habitat for Humanity Newburgh Urban and Rural Development

Rockport, Maine Midcoast Habitat for Humanity Urban and Rural Development

BUFFALO 4

MOOSE 3

PHOENIX 4

RAVEN 5

Marion, Mass. The Marion Institute Environmental Stewardship

Sanford, Maine The Town of Sanford Urban & Rural Development

Wells, Maine U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Disaster Services

King of Prussia, Pa. Valley Forge Environmental Stewardship

Get to the Point, Volume XIX, Issue 21  

AmeriCorps NCCC Atlantic Region Newsletter. In this Issue: "Whirlwind." Raven 4 member Sean Kenyon highlights the challenges and triumphs of...

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