ERC's AmeriCorps Partnerships PDF Print E-mail

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

AmeriCorps is a national program which was signed into law in 1993 and expanded recently. AmeriCorps combined the longstanding VISTA (Volunteers in Service To America) program signed into law in 1964 by President Johnson with the National Civilian Community Corps (or NCCC). Read more about Americorps here.

AmeriCorps has a great track record of helping strengthen communities like ours by mobilizing resources that already exist, like nonprofits and faith-based groups. Americorps helps partipants develop an ethic of service plus the leadership skills needed for active, productive citizenship, which often lasts after their service has ended. AmeriCorps members give a year or two of service to their country.  In return, members earn a small stipend plus educational credits to help pay off college loans. They also garner valuable experience to flesh out a resume for a tight job market. This mutually beneficial relationship is win-win for everyone involved.

The ERC has sponsored a number of AmeriCorps members since 2002. Read about these great folks below and their areas of interest while they were with us. Although they arrived in Ketchum from far-flung corners of the country, you'll be surprised to see how many of them are still living in our community!

 

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2002-2003
Vanessa Crossgrove Fry, as ERC's first AmeriCorps member, spent a lot of time working in the classroom and with groups such as the Girl Scouts. She developed the Beaver Box teaching tool that is still in use by environmental education and conservation groups. Vanessa moved on to head up Citizens for Smart Growth.

2003-2004
Diana Crumrine was instrumental in starting
the Storm Drain Stenciling Project to increase awareness of storm drain pollution and also
in the formation of the Environmental Education Outreach Program (EEOP), eight weeks of science demonstrations for all 2nd and 3rd graders in Blaine County.

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2004-2005
Lee Calihan and Kelly Richins sheparded EcoCamp into existence during their term at
the ERC. Lee said her favorite programs
while at the ERC were Animal Tracking on
Snowshoes and Nature Photography. Kelly
worked on the Idle No More project at all the local schools and is seen smiling in so many snow cave photos that you have to wonder why she moved to rainy Portland!
2005-2006
Sam Garcia and Bree Herndon-Michael were
Community Outreach and Youth Coordinators, respectively. Sam's pet project was partnering with the Advocates Shelter on Nature Empowering Survivors of Abuse project.  She also worked on developing CEEL (Circle of Environmental Excellence and Leadership) among valley businesses. Bree made significant contributions towards development of ERC's website plus the Idle No More project.

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2006-2007
EcoCamp was Naomi Goldberg's (at left) very favorite assignment when she served as Americorps Youth Coordinator, and she certainly carried that love of working with children forward to her current position as a teacher at The Community School. Her counterpart, Laura Theis, helped expand the Dog Waste Program from 10 to 33 bins and was instrumental in getting Idaho's Bounty off the ground.  Today Laura oversees co-op member communications and manages the website for Idaho's Bounty.

2007-2008
Rhett Zyla came from New Mexico to work
as the ERC's Recycling Coordinator and
he used his engineering backgound to
explore carbon offsets and vegetable
oil burning vehicles as well as helping lower the ERC's own carbon footprint. Kimberly Ralphs, Youth Outreach Coordinator, worked on junk mail recycling and continued the development of EcoCamp. Kim returned
to her home state of Utah, but Rhett is still a Ketchum resident.

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2008
Kyle Livingston moved mountains (of data)
to complete the carbon footprint assess-
ments for Blaine County, Ketchum, Sun
Valley, and Hailey during his tenure. Kyle
is still here in Ketchum. Megan McGowan (and coon hound Adia) came from West Virginia. Megan's interests in sustainable food drove her discussion group projects, and ultimately led her back east to work on an organic farm.

2009
Missy Hintz was involved with sustainability
issues, such as CleanSweep and Recycling.
Missy was also a graphics powerhouse,
and taught us all a lot! Missy moved back
to Ohio to work for a nonprofit there.
Molly Fox was the Youth Program Associate. Molly worked primarily with education projects and was famous among EcoCampers for her mud facial.  Molly began the nursing program at CSI after her term ended.

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2010
Kellie Rey filled the position of AmeriCorps
Program Associate. Kellie
dove headlong into plans for EcoCamp and
EEOP, and helping teach SnowSchool,
SAS!, and the Sage School Master Naturalist program.
She also completed the public Master
Naturalist program. On the sustainability
side of her job, Kellie planned Clean-
Sweep for early May. Kellie is now in graduate school at BSU.


2010-11
Hadley DeBree (right),who is a Hailey local, served as AmeriCorps Environmental Education Associate.  Amber Gray came from Wisconsin to join the ERC as the new AmeriCorps Energy Associate.  Hadley assisted Education Director Lisa Huttinger with classroom programs and camps.  Amber worked with Executive Director Craig Barry on energy related projects. 
 

2011-12
The ERC is celebrating the return of Hadley DeBree for her second Americorps term, and also the return of Hannah Beane, who served as a Field Instructor for ERC's EcoCamps in the summer of 2011.  Both will  serve as Americorps Environmental Education Program Associates, under the supervision of Education Director Lisa Huttinger. Hadley and Hannah jumped right into teaching, since SAS! Science After School, started right as they did. Read more about Hadley and Hannah on the Staff page.

 

 
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