In March, NOS welcomed three new AmeriCorps Spring Naturalists to our programming team; Brandolyn Thran in Elko and Irma Mendoza and Brody Goucher in Winnemucca!
AmeriCorps is a civil society program supported by the U.S.
federal government, foundations, corporations, and other donors engaging
adults in public service work with a goal of "helping others and
meeting critical needs in the community.
The Nevada Outdoor School AmeriCorps Program is a community development program that provides human resources to worthy non-profits, professional and life-skills training for community members, and collaborations for best practices which in turn increases the overall outreach of the non-profits and enables citizens to live more meaningful and independent lives.
At NOS, our AmeriCorps Naturalists teach inquiry-based, hands-on science lessons and field trips, run a variety of youth summer programs and camps, lead community hikes, and spread the message of responsible recreation through Leave No Trace, Tread Lightly! and ATV Safety lessons, camps, trainings and Road Shows.
At the start of their service, we asked our three new AmeriCorps the following four questions, and these were their responses:
1.) How did you become an AmeriCorps Naturalist for NOS,
what made you interested in the position/why did you apply?
Irma - Growing
up with NOS in the classroom, and in the community I was immediately interested
when I saw the job listing, remembering all the hands on and fun activities
they I had to offer I applied. A close friend had also served their
AmeriCorps term with NOS and had told me of their amazing experience I felt
that it was an opportunity I definitely could not miss out on.
became an AmeriCorps Naturalist because one of my friends took a job with them
and when she explained how beneficial being an AmeriCorps member could be for
my educational future, I had to give it a shot. I found the Facebook post
and then called in and had an interview set up from there.
Brandolyn- After working 15 years as
a microbiologist for the US Army I was ready for a major change and was
investigating education-based opportunities. While looking for
non-profits in Nevada I happened upon NOS via the web and was immediately drawn
to it since I have a passion for education, in particular science education,
and the outdoors. It seemed that we were a "fit" and so I applied!
2.) If your opinion, why is the AmeriCorps program
Irma - AmeriCorps
is important because it will give someone the experience of being able to serve
their community, and it gives someone a goal to reach in the end which is not
only many hours of service, but the education award afterwards.
- AmeriCorps is a great program
because it is vital for non for profits, it provides a way for them to get the
help that they need without spending additional resources that are needed to
function. AmeriCorps is also important for people like me who are trying to
work full time and maintain 5 college classes at the same time, the education
grant will relieve a lot of stress off my shoulders as far as my tuition goes.
Brandolyn - It's a great opportunity
to serve our community and learn a ton in the process.
3.) So far, what has been for favorite thing about working
Irma - NOS
has given me the opportunity to practicing my teaching skills, which will be
helpful when I’m working towards my teaching degree. As well as giving me
skills, and training to work in the outdoors to be able to do it safely and
responsibly, all while being able to enjoy what I do.
Brody- My favorite thing about working for NOS is the people that
work here, they have been so helpful and patient with everything. I also love
the fact that I get to tackle a different challenge every day and that this job
allows me to get outside and talk to kids about responsible recreation and how
we can truly leave no trace but still enjoy nature.
Brandolyn- I really appreciate the
training that has been provided (Leave No Trace, Tread Lightly, and CPR) and
working with the kiddos! It's fun to be able to teach without being in
the formal education system.
4.) What are you looking forward to most in your service?
Irma - Since
staring out my term at NOS I have looked forward to all the wonderful
activities I get to participate in, as well as the opportunity I get to serve
the community in which I have grown up in, and have come to love.
I am looking forward to our summer
camps the most, they are going to be a blast and I think that we have come up
with some great ideas this year and that the kids who come will find that our
camps are a lot of fun and very educational.
Meeting and interacting with lots of really cool kids!
I can't wait until the field trips and summer camps start!!!
We are super stoked to have Irma, Brody and Brandolyn part of the NOS team and look forward to all the great work we know they will do during their service!