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Volume 3, Issue 6 September 2012

Escape the Ordinary

A Corps Member from the Atlantic Region removing debris from a house in NY

The Southern Region’s Delta 9 taking a photo with CNCS CEO Wendy Spencer in Memphis, TN A Southern Region CM talking with a resident affected by Hurricane Issac

Ken Goodson, Region Director for the Southwest Region, greeting Class 19 Team Leaders in Denver, CO

A Corps Member from the Pacific Region working in a garden

At the North Central Region, a FEMA Corps Team Leader greets Corps Members on their first day

All About Us AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, team-based Improvement, Environmental Stewardship residential program for men and women ages and Conservation, Energy Conservation, and 18-24. NCCC members are assigned to one Urban and Rural Development. 100 percent of five campuses and organized into teams of of members are certified in CPR, first aid, 10-12 members. Campuses are located in and disaster response; approximately 9% are Perry Point, MD; Vinton, IA; Denver, CO; firefighter trained by the National Park and Vicksburg, MS; and Sacramento, CA. NCCC U.S. Forest Services. NCCC teams also teams serve approximately 4-6 projects support local disaster relief organizations to throughout their ten months of service. help communities prepare for, respond to, NCCC serves every state, responding to and recover from natural or man-made pressing local needs that are identified by disasters. Since September 2005, NCCC organizations in the community. Projects are members from all campuses have served focused on the following five categories – more than 9.6 million hours on 5,035 Natural and Other Disasters, Infrastructure projects. "Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Inside this issue: Leave Your Mark: A Corps Member Spotlight


Benefits of Service/Winter 2013 Update


An Inside Look: The Atlantic Region


Where Are We Now?


Getting Things Done: Catching Up With Buffalo 2


The Application Process


Delta 10 working at the United Way Call Center in Jackson, MS.

Delta 6 preparing cots in a gymnasium at the Hammond Westside Upper Elementary

Leave Your Mark: A Corps Member Spotlight This edition of Escape the Ordinary highlights Chris Moore, an AmeriCorps NCCC Corps Member currently serving at the Atlantic Region in Perry Point, Maryland. A graduate of YouthBuild in Lennox, California, Chris currently serves on Buffalo Two as a Corps Ambassador Program Representative (CAP). I spoke with Chris about his NCCC experience and the importance of the work that he is doing. Tell us about some of your projects thus far. Which has been your favorite and why? My first project was in Hookstown, PA. My team and I worked with Raccoon Creek State Park. It was a wonderful experience for me adjusting to the different environment. We worked in the woods every day, clearing trails, invasive species removal, a little construction on the older and modern cabins, and we also learned about proper tick removal. My favorite project thus far was in Camden, NJ. I worked with Habitat for Humanity building homes for low-income families. This project was my favorite because I love helping people and working with Habitat you get to work with the families and it just makes you appreciate life in general a lot more. Now I want to go back home and start a volunteer group in my community. Why did you choose to apply to AmeriCorps NCCC? I graduated from a secondary education school called YouthBuild of Lennox, CA. While I was there, I received a high school diploma, a carpentry certificate and an education award from AmeriCorps to pursue a college education. I also felt community service was very important, not only where I live but across the world where disaster can happen at any time.

Tell us about something that you’ve done for the first

What has been the most challenging part of your term of service thus far? How did you work to overcome that challenge? My most challenging moment has been just adjusting to different lifestyles and different living environments. I overcame this by staying open-minded to new things and differences. During NCCC, you learn a lot about yourself and others. What are a few things that you’ve either learned about yourself, your teammates or other members at your campus? The program has opened my eyes to what is possible in the world and what I am capable of. In my life going forward I will definitely approach things differently. A friend from home asks you, “How has AmeriCorps NCCC personally affected your life?” What would your response be? NCCC has helped me grow into becoming a better leader in my community and my life. The program has given me confidence in myself to succeed and get things done. You’ve completed half of your ten months of service. What are some of your goals for the remainder of the service year? First, I want to work hard to finish the program strong. Secondly, I would like to do more Independent Service Project hours to help out communities before I exit the program. Thirdly, I would like to have a life after AmeriCorps plan in place. And lastly, please share any advice that you might have for prospective Corps Members. Stay dedicated and motivated! No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.

time this year? Living in the woods was a first. I didn’t like it at first, but you learn to love it. I really appreciate nature a lot more now.

Volume 3, Issue 6

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AmeriCorps NCCC: Benefits of Service 

Uniform—includes t-shirts, sweatshirts, BDU pants, shorts,  steel-toed boots, fleece vest, coveralls and more

Housing—campus residences are co-ed floors with same gender roommates; spike housing is provided by the project  sponsor

Health Care—limited coverage includes payment for most medical and surgical costs, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and certain emergency dental, vision, and maternity  care. However, these benefits may be affected by restrictions on payment for pre-existing conditions as well as other exclusions.

Child Care—up to $400 per month may be available for a  custodial parent of a minor child

Personal Days—Corps Members are entitled to 3 paid personal days off from service, as well as 2 paid Life After AmeriCorps days (subject to approval).

Transportation—NCCC will cover the cost of a Corps Member’s travel to a campus at the start of a service  year and back home at the end of a service year.

Living Allowance—approximately $4,000 per year (or $200 every two weeks) before taxes

Training/Skills—CPR/First Aid and Disaster Relief certification training from the Red Cross, leadership skills, conflict management, team-building and lots more Education Award—Once a Corps Member has completed 1700 hours of service and successfully completed the program, they are eligible for the Education Award. Currently, the award is $5,550. Loan Forbearance—If Corps Members have Federal Education loans (Perkins, Stafford, or Direct Loans) they may be placed in forbearance. Once a Member earns an Ed. Award, NCCC will pay the interest accrued on these loans while the Member was in service. College Credit—We currently offer, through the American Council of Education, undergraduate credit for the following three-credit-hour courses: Introduction to Service Learning and Diversity in Service (available to both Team Leaders and Corps Members); and Supervisory Skills (available only to Team Leaders). Certification from American Humanics in Non - Profit Employment and Management—NCCC alumni may enroll in this online program offered by the University of Montana and LSU-Shreveport.

A Winter 2013 update

Winter 2013 applicants: Thank you for your continued interest in AmeriCorps NCCC. As we start sending invitations for the upcoming Winter 2013 cycle, please take a moment to log in to your My AmeriCorps account and ensure that your email and mailing address are up to date. Your acceptance packet will include forms that will need to be sent back to us and if your address is incorrect, this will delay the process. As a reminder, you will have ten (10) days to return these forms. Questions? Email us at Thank You!

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An Inside Look: Atlantic Region Concluding our “Inside Look� series, this issue of Escape the Ordinary will highlight the Atlantic Region campus, located in Perry Point, Maryland.

About the Perry Point Campus The village of Perry Point is located in the town of Perryville, 48 miles from Baltimore, 90 miles from Washington, D.C., and 60 miles from Philadelphia. Perry Point is close enough to the city of Baltimore to enjoy its lively Inner Harbor (see photo at left) for cultural and recreational events. The same can be said of the cradle of American history, Philadelphia. The nearby towns of Havre de Grace and Aberdeen have churches, shops, public libraries and restaurants. The town of Perryville has a train station, library and a few restaurants within walking distance. A number of shopping malls and two multi-screen theaters are within 20 miles of the Perry Point campus.

The NCCC sign located just outside of B-15 (the administrative building at the Atlantic Region)

The Mansion House on campus. No one lives here now, but George Washington was known to stay here, and the horror movie "From Within" was filmed here, and on other parts of campus as well.


We have 3 teams from the Atlantic Region currently posting to our National Blog. Check it out at the link below:

Volume 3, Issue 6

The main entrance to 9H, where Corps Members live in dormitory-style housing.

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Click these links to visit each campuses’ Facebook page.

Where Are We Now?

Note: You will have to be logged in to access each page.

Atlantic Region

Perry Point, MD North Central Region

Vinton, IA

Pacific Region

Sacramento, CA Southern Region

Vicksburg, MS

Southwest Region

Denver, CO

Bridgeport, CT - The Atlantic Region’s Raven 3 are currently working with Habitat for Humanity—Coastal Fairfield County. The team is painting, framing, and coordinating volunteers for a Corporate Build and a Blitz Build. Members will also support the development of the Habitat for Heroes program which is the organization's first build to support a local veteran. Rapid City, SD - Cedar 5, representing the North Central Region is currently working with Black Hills Workshop. The team will be working as support volunteers in program areas, developing and facilitating classes for people with disabilities, performing facility maintenance, and preparing and implementing the annual Black Hills Haunted House Food Drive. Philadelphia, PA - Moose 4, from the Atlantic Region, is currently working with SERVE Philadelphia. The team is working with community leaders in twelve neighborhoods to assist in clearing vacant lots and creating community gardens. Wauwatosa, WI - The North Central Region’s Oak 6 is currently working with the Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture. The team is performing ecological restoration projects through tasks such as invasive species removal, collection of native plant seed, hiking trail construction/repair, building construction, and fire break installations. ***************************************************************************************************** Southern Region - No projects are listed as traditional NCCC teams are back on campus for transition. FEMA Corps teams have been deployed on their 1st round service assignments. Pacific/Southwest Region - Team Leaders are currently in the middle of training and Corps Members will be arriving in October. North Central Region - FEMA Corps members are in Alabama for their FEMA training for the next two weeks before heading out on their 1st round service assignments.

Want to Serve for a Day?

Serve with a current team of NCCC members at a project in your area! Contact for more information.

**Please note, we may be unable to accommodate all “Serve for a Day” requests due to sponsor restrictions.**

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Getting Things Done: Catching up with Buffalo 2

What were your team’s thoughts as you arrived at your spike location for your 3rd round project? When we first arrived in Connecticut, the team was excited to explore a new state but did not quite know what our 6 weeks would entail. Some members were wondering how we were going to teach summer school kids about emergency preparedness. One member was thinking to herself, “yay, no more trail work!” but she soon found out that we would be spending a good portion of our time on the trails. Even with all of the research we do in preparation for the project brief, there is really no way of knowing exactly what to expect in a project until we actually get there and get things done. What has been the most surprising moment of your project thus far? Hands down, the most ‘surprising’ moment of 3rd round was when one of the members got seriously injured while working on the Appalachian Trail. We had hiked about an hour and a half into the trail when the member injured his head and had a concussion. It was a scary moment for all of us, but everyone stayed calm and awaited help. We eventually wheeled the member out of the trail of a

Volume 3, Issue 6

stretcher, with every member of the team and the volunteer EMTs taking turns carrying the stretcher, and a helicopter took the member safely to the hospital. Thankfully the member is safe and came back to our team in no time. What has been the most trying moment?

Through the 6 weeks in Connecticut, the team’s primary assignment was collaborating with the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) of the Torrington Area Health District to deliver Emergency Preparedness and Health & Safety messages to summer school students between 2nd and 7th grade. The team spent a total of 3 weeks visiting summer school programs and playing educational games in order to teach the students on essential elements of preparing for different types of emergencies. We also worked with the Medical Reserve Corps of the Pomperaug Health District, where Buffalo 2 beautified a community garden and collected public health data in two towns from their district. The team was provided iPads with a questionnaire that forwarded data directly to a live database. We went into the community and conducted two surveys: one on whether citizens are personally prepared for an emergency and whether they felt their community is prepared for a disaster, and another on whether the citizens would like a community center built, and if so what activities and services it should offer. Aside from collaborating with the health districts and promoting emergency preparedness, the team also worked with the Appalachian Mountain Club, Southbury Land Trust, Southbury Conservation Commission, and the Norfolk Land Trust to assist in trail work. We cleared trails of invasive species, built a small footbridge, blazed a new trail and dug a few irrigation trenches. I spoke with members of Buffalo 2 about their 3rd round experience and their advice for prospective members.

The most trying part of the round was working 10 days straight with the Appalachian Mountain Club. We had assumed that the round would be all about working with kids, so when we found out from the sponsor that we were going to do some trail work when we are not presenting to kids, we were not exactly sure what to expect. Especially when we were asked to work a 10-day stretch with the AMC, hiking 2 miles into trails and clear trails, move boulders, and dig holes, we were not physically or mentally prepared for it. But, a part of being in AmeriCorps NCCC is being flexible, so we quickly switched gears and got used to the change in scenery. Good thing we’re all CPR & First Aid certified.

What was the most rewarding or memorable moment? A project with kids was something the team had been asking for since day one, so when we were assigned this project, we were all ecstatic. Something about working with young kids and teaching them important lessons gave us all a sense of ‘we are directly impacting people.’ It was especially memorable when the sponsor suggested that at the end of each session, we teach the kids our unit chant, “The Buffalo Chant,” and seeing the kids singing it and calling us “The Buffalo People” was amazing.

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Would you promote NCCC to other young people? Why? Yes. We are all for promoting NCCC to other young people. This is such a unique experience that allows for young people to see new parts of their country and give back to communities. The things you see and experience in this program are invaluable and at times life changing. Also, this program is good for those who are still in the process of trying to figure out what they want to do with their life. Different projects give you an opportunity to try a whole bunch of new things, which might lead to someone discovering their passion through this program.

And finally, what is one piece of advice you would give to prospective Corps Members?

“Get to the Point” is a weekly newsletter produced by the Atlantic Region for their members. Click on the above photo to read the latest edition.

Some pieces of advice that the team would like to offer prospective Corps Members are:  Be kind to others.  Don’t over pack. Just bring the bare necessities.  Be yourself.  Come in with an open mind and willingness to try new things so you don’t miss out on opportunities to learn cool things. Click on Andre’s photo to read about his experience as a wildland firefighter.

Burn out with Raven 1 member Andre as he fights wildfires

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AMERICORPS NCCC 1201 New York Ave Washington, DC 20525 Phone: 800-942-2677 Fax: 202-606-3456 E-mail: Follow NCCC Online:

b We the ccc n o v/n o ’re g . e W rps rico e m .a www

How does placement work in NCCC? NCCC employs a “rolling admissions” process, similar to many colleges. We have a few rounds of placements during the application period and additional rounds of placements once our application period closes. We continue to offer positions as they become available, including up to the day before a campus opens. All selections and placements are random. We have far more qualified applicants than positions available, and unfortunately cannot guarantee a position to all qualified applicants.

What does my NCCC status mean? You’ve heard about the amazing things that AmeriCorps NCCC members do and now you’re ready to be a part of this great program. You apply but then you ask, “What does Under Review mean”? Well, we’re going to break down those statuses right here.

Escape the Ordinary - September 2012  
Escape the Ordinary - September 2012  

Welcome to the current edition of "Escape the Ordinary," our monthly AmeriCorps NCCC Applicant Newsletter. It includes lots of helpful info...