My name is Miguel, and I have been serving with the YMCA Earth Service Corps for roughly 7 months now. Earth Service Corps mainly operates in partnership with public schools in the greater Seattle area to provide resources, education, and leadership development to local youth that want to make environmental change in their communities. While there is a large focus on in-school education we also offer hands on opportunities for youth and other community members to participate in a variety of events such as habitat restoration, eco-retreats, and environmental symposiums.
Recently, Earth Service Corps hosted a habitat restoration event on February 17th for Presidents’ Day. The event was partnered with Homegrown, a local business that aims to provide healthy and local foods to their community. All together there was 10 youth and 23 adult volunteers. Together there was a total of 132 service hours in one day.
As much as I love being active in diverse school communities, I highly enjoy the opportunities we have to connect with local businesses to serve in hands-on restoration events in our area. I love that through AmeriCorps and Earth Service Corps I am learning how to build connections between local organizations and non-profits to enrich our communities through hands on service. The dedication and willingness I have experienced in conjunction with local businesses to not only restore local areas but provide support and opportunity for young people is astounding. Through my service, I have learned a lot about the importance of community in large urban areas, something that is very new to me as over my life I have only lived in small rural spaces. It’s incredibly inspiring to see the amount of support and interconnectedness that Earth Service Corps provides to its local communities. I am beyond grateful to play a role in strengthening of community and environmental action that Earth Service Corps provides. I cannot wait to see how things grow through the rest of my term.