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AmeriCorps NCCC

The Team Leaders are Back!

I’ve had my Pod for a week and a half and I must say I’m going to miss them when we actually get our teams.  Now don’t get me wrong I’m sure my team will be equally as great, but I have enjoyed being the Pod Leader for Pod 2. They’ve really bonded quite well and work together very well. It’s only been a week and a half and I feel we’ve already developed a Pod culture.

This week they’ve gone through a lot of background training on A*NCCC as well as the Civilian Conservation Corps, policies, staff positions, PT, CPR/AED/First Aid, and Disaster Relief.  We’ve also had 2 service projects. Last week we got the opportunity to work with the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture A.G. Kawamura and his assistant to plant a demonstration garden around the Department of Food and Agriculture in Sacramento. It was really cool to be working alongside appointed officials and have really meaningful conversations with them. We touched on the subject of food production and talked about organic food, genetically modified food, and the disconnect between people and where their food comes from. It was a great service learning opportunity. When we finished with our work we were also able to go and take a tour of the Capitol Building. It is a beautiful building.

Last night our TLs that were deployed for disaster relief in American Samoa returned. It was great to see them all again. We had a little reunion and went out for drinks and caught each other up on the events of the last 3 weeks. The CMs seemed really excited to see the new TLs and I’m sure they’re looking forward to meeting them and hearing all their stories.

Today was “Make a Difference Day” and the entire corps went downtown to the Sacramento Theatre Company where we got a speech from the Mayor of Sacramento and had a panel on homelessness. The mayor has a goal of eradicating homelessness in the city of Sacramento in the next 5 years. Definitely a lofty goal but they believe it’s possible. In the afternoon my Pod got the opportunity to help out with Loaves and Fishes. They are a great organization that provides essential services for the hungry and homeless. We got a great tour from Sister Libby and then went to the kitchen and got some food served to us. We then spent a few hours cleaning and sanitizing the activities room, a kitchen, living room, bathroom, etc. With the current H1N1 scare going around Loaves and Fishes really wanted to make sure they kept their facilities in good shape since their clientel is pretty susceptible to sickness and disease. It was a great day of service learning and giving back. During dinner tonight my pod had a little reflection and we talked about all the homeless people we met at Loaves and Fishes and how we were blown away by them. They were intelligent, organized, and determined. Most had either a mental illness or were recovering from either alcohol or drug abuse. It was easy to see that the people that pass through those doors were headed in the right direction and trying to get their lives back on track.

It will be interesting to see if the culture changes around here now that the TLs from Samoa are back. We are really looking forward to getting to know them even more and hear about their incredible stories.

Until next time,

Peace, Love and Progress

-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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