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AmeriCorps NCCC

Hands on Sacramento

Sunday September 27, 2009

Today some of us volunteered down in Old Sacramento for the Sacramento World Music and Dance Festival. I was supposed to be a stage assistant and help set up the stage in between acts but I never really got to any of that. They needed me to help set up booths and place signs all around the festival. This was the first time I’ve gotten the chance to go down into Old Sacramento and I’m a fan. It’s a bit commercial and tacky but not too overdone.

Old Sacramento

Old Sacramento

More of Old Sacramento

More of Old Sacramento

Sacramento World Music & Dance Festival Entrance

Sacramento World Music & Dance Festival Entrance

There were a bunch of different cultural dance groups and a few of us were even able to get a free 45 minute Samba dance lesson. After we left the festival I spent the afternoon cleaning up, taking a nap, getting in some quality swim time, had a delicious chicken picante dinner, did laundry, and watched some fascinating TV on the history of our National Parks.

Saturday September 26, 2009

We had our second day of service today. It was Hands on Sacramento Service Day. We were leading groups of corporate volunteers at the Soil Born Farm. We even put the mayor of Sacramento to work helping to build some walking trails. Soil Born Farms is a non-profit organic farm nestled up to the American River. They donate a large quantity of their harvest to local food banks and are currently in the process of repairing lots of their land to its natural habitat. They are hopeful that they will be able to eventually have hiking trails along the river come right up through the farm where they can educate the people on the positives of organic community farming. It was a great atmosphere around the farm. Hands on Sacramento had music blasting throughout the morning and we had about 200 corporate volunteers helping out with trail building, harvesting, planting tress, and storing vegetables. The occasion also gave us a great opportunity to work on our project management skills. Each of us had about 5-10 people to oversea and work with throughout the day. One difference however was that our Team Members were corporate employees and their small children.

Soil Born Farms with Corporate Volunteers

Soil Born Farms with Corporate Volunteers

Friday September 25, 2009
I spent the morning learning all about accounting and funds management. For each project the Team Leader is responsible for making sure we are on budget and don’t run out of money. I’ve been told that some projects have had budgets as high as $25,000 in the past. This means that I could very likely be in charge of a very large budget over the course of this next year. It’s pretty cool to realize that I have that responsibility but also a little worrisome.  In the afternoon we went out to Soil Born Farms for our orientation because tomorrow we’re going to be leading corporate volunteers in a day of service. We met all the staff and took a tour the of property. After the tour we broke up into teams and learned what about the areas that we were going to be leading. I’ll be spending the morning helping volunteers build a walking path through the property and then help harvest squash.

Soil Born Farms Orientatoin

Soil Born Farms Orientatoin

Thursday September 24, 2009

Today was a day of diversity training. The training session was actually pretty informative and upbeat. I’ll admit some of us were a bit skeptical as we looked around the room and noticed that 90% of us were white and at least 60% male, needless to say not the most diverse group of people. Even the facilitators of the workshop were white. At the end I do believe we got some very useful information out of the workshop.

I realized the other day that I haven’t posted any pictures of our home here so I figured I should put a couple up.

Our Dorms, and yes that is a palm tree!

Our Dorms, and yes that is a palm tree!

Our Rooms

Our Rooms

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Farming,

-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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