Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Idahoan Finds Travel, Adventure and Family in National Service Program

Perry Point, Md.—Arco native, Reuben Allen, is an alumnus of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), which celebrates its 20th anniversary starting this week. AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, team-based, residential national service program for men and women ages 18 to 24. Since the year 2000, AmeriCorps NCCC members in the state of Idaho have served over 112,000 hours, planted 61,000 new trees and assisted over 5,000 people with disabilities.  As of earlier this year, 350 AmeriCorps members overall were serving in Idaho across 23 projects.

 Allen served in AmeriCorps NCCC in class 7 and class 8 at the Atlantic Region campus in Perry Point, Md. Allen applied to NCCC during his senior year in college at Idaho State University where he was earning a degree in journalism. 

At the time of his application to NCCC, Allen had lived his entire life in southeastern Idaho, and had not traveled further east than Denver. When asked about his experiences in the NCCC program, Allen said, “the program completely changed the direction of my life. As a team leader I met another team leader, Margie Reurink, who is now my wife.”

Over the course of his two terms of service with AmeriCorps NCCC, Allen served on eight project rounds in eleven states. He served communities in the areas of education, construction, disaster relief, in parks and through community revitalization.

 During Allen’s first year in class 7, the terrorist attacks of September 11th occurred. In response to the attacks, he and his team deployed to an American Red Cross Center in Falls Church, VA. There in Virginia, Allen and his team set up and manned a call center designed to provide information and assistance to people impacted by the terrorist attacks.

Currently, Allen works as a Regional Ranger Supervisor for the parks in southeastern Vermont. He oversees the operation of the 13 state parks in the region and is responsible for the supervision and training of the park rangers and their staff at each location. 

About his career path Allen said, My current career is a direct result of my time in NCCC. Serving in NCCC was the most fulfilling experience of my life. I was able to fulfill my goals of travel and adventure. More importantly, I realized an interest in public service. There is nothing more gratifying than directly impacting communities in a positive way. Had NCCC not found me, my life would be radically different than it is today.”

In part, Allen continues his community service today through the NCCC Alumni Leadership Council as one of four alumni representatives for the Atlantic Region. As a member of the Alumni Leadership Council, Allen interacts with and supports current NCCC members and other NCCC alumni. 

Since 1994, over 19,000 AmeriCorps NCCC alumni, like Allen, have performed at least 10 months of full time service. AmeriCorps was created on Sept. 21, 1993, when President Bill Clinton signed the National and Community Service Trust Act. The first AmeriCorps members were later sworn in at the White House on Sept. 12, 1994.  Starting Sept. 20, AmeriCorps NCCC celebrates 20 years of service with yearlong anniversary events, service projects and story-telling culminating on September 12, 2014. For more information about the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps visit - www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorps20

AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, residential, national service program in which 1,100 young adults serve nationwide each year. During their 10-month term, Corps Members–all 18 to 24 years old–work on teams of eight to 12 on projects that address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. Members mentor students, construct and rehabilitate low-income housing, respond to natural disasters, clean up streams, help communities develop emergency plans, and address countless other local needs. The Atlantic Region campus in Perry Point is one of five regional hubs in the United States and serves fourteen states in the northeast part of the country. The other campuses are located in Denver, Colorado, Sacramento, California, Vicksburg, Mississippi and Vinton, Iowa.

In exchange for their service, Corps Members receive $5,550 to help pay for college, or to pay back existing student loans. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, leadership development, increased self-confidence, and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, people can indeed make a difference. AmeriCorps NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency. The Corporation improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at www.nationalservice.gov

Sam McKenzie
Community Relations Specialist, Atlantic Region
AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps
PO Box 27
Boilerhouse Road/Building 15
Perry Point, MD 21902
O: 410 642 2411 ext 6244
F:  410 642 1888

Celebrating 20 Years of Service – September 2013 – September 2014

 AmeriCorps_20years small

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