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.
Brody- I 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 important?
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.
Brody - 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 at NOS?
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.
Brody - 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.
Brandolyn- 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!