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AmeriCorps NCCC

End of week 1

The first week/weekend is now over.

On Friday we had our first service project. Friday was 9/11 and is now a National Day of Remembrance and Service. We broke up into 4 different groups and spent the morning in different parts of Sacramento doing community service. My group worked with the staff from Congresswoman Matsui’s office. We were at a city park beautifying the American Riverfront. There was one group that was able to go to the Capitol for Governor Schwarzenegger’s address. One Team Leader who was a Corps Member last year even got the opportunity to address the crowd. In the afternoon we started our driver’s training course. We watched videos on van safety and went over rules of the road.

Saturday we had some things to do in the morning so I wasn’t able to get out to San Francisco for the Power to the Peaceful music festival. On my list of places to visit while I’m out here is San Francisco and Yosemite National Park. People are also talking about making a trip to go hiking at Lake Tahoe. First thing in the morning we had to get our TB test read. I’m TB free, yay! Next was the pack test. The pack test is what you have to complete to be eligible to be on the fuel reduction team which spends a good majority of their projects working in the national forests helping to prevent forest fires. They also help with mop-up work in the case that there is a forest fire. They get to take sweet classes on everything from forest management, to fire mitigation, and weather patterns. In order to pass the test you have to wear a 45 lb vest and walk 3 miles in under 45 minutes. Everyone that undertook the test passed. I personally didn’t take the test because I’m really looking forward to having a lot of different projects that deal with different issues. I did however go out to the course to provide support for those that were taking the pack test.

In the afternoon we went into downtown Sacramento for Second Saturdays which is a monthly art/music festival. It was a lot of fun. I highly recommend it for anyone in the area on the second Saturday of every month.  There were tons of people walking around checking out the art and watching and dancing to the musical acts. It was a great time. I don’t have my driver’s license yet so I wasn’t able to join some of the Team Leaders for a drink at one of the bars. I was able to get a hold of the place in Windsor where I left my license and they’re supposed to be putting it in the mail for me tomorrow. So hopefully it won’t be too long until I have my license again. I spent most of my time this weekend watching football. It’s been way too long since I’ve been able to do that. My Michigan Wolverines squeaked out a great win over Notre Dame and I do believe we might have witnessed the coming of the next great Michigan Quarterback in Tate Forcier. The Cowboys had a great win over Tampa Bay so I couldn’t have been happier with the state of football after this weekend. To make it even better Ohio State lost, that was a nice little boost.

Tomorrow we start PT, I think. It’s listed on the schedule as “PT Orientation,” I’m not too sure what that means. I guess I’ll find out at 6:30 tomorrow morning. I also learned that I’m not the youngest Team Leader. As far as I know there are four 22 yrs old Team Members and some of them aren’t previous AmeriCorps Members either. It makes me feel a little better knowing that I’m not the only one in that position.  I’ve been reading through the policy book and the Team Leader Toolkit that the staff gave me and I’m really starting to look forward to working with my team. I know it’s going to be challenging but what’s the fun in not pushing yourself and always staying within your comfort zone anyway?

Till next time,

Peace, Love, and Service,

-Nelson

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About Nelson

I've spent the past few years traveling around seeing what I can do to improve our world. I've spent 4 years at the University of Michigan studying engineering. I spent a month in Ghana setting up pilot plastic recycling programs. I spent a month in Ecuador studying Spanish, working on an organic farm, and building schools. I spent a month in Israel studying the culture. I was in charge of site development for the North American Summer Service Team at the University of Michigan and was a Site Leader for the Pangaea World Service Team. I was a member of the percussion based stage performance group called Groove for 4 years. I am a founding member and VP of Corporate Social Responsibility for Juice High Voltage Entertainment. I'm currently a Team Leader for AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps Pacific Region. I've also worked as an engineering intern for Parsons conducting feasibility studies for small towns in Texas in order to see how they could upgrade their public water systems for 3 summers. While attending the University of Michigan I worked with project SERVE to help development service learning initiatives. I am interested in traveling, volunteering, urban and environmental planning/design, always stretching myself and personal development. Lately I've been reading a lot about personal finance and lifestyle design. One day I hope that I'll be either working for or owning my own company that focuses on environmental engineering and international travel and development.

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