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Rocky Mountain Youth Corps
A Daniels Fund Impact Story
General Operating Support
Grant Funding Area:
Grant Impact Area:
Career & Technical Education
Grant purpose: To support the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps’ outdoor conservation programs that preserve and enhance the environment while giving youth an opportunity to develop into responsible adults.
How this organization is helping make lives better: The Rocky Mountain Youth Corps links community, education, and environment through service. It helps youth develop the skills they need to succeed in the workforce, classroom, home, and everyday life through employment, community service, mentoring and educational opportunities. Its primary program is Conservation Corps, where youth and young adults ages 16-25 are employed to do outdoor conservation work involving trail maintenance, noxious weed removal, and campground/park maintenance. The youth involved learn valuable employment and life skills, gain a strong work ethic, take on responsibilities, and benefit from mentoring relationships.
Story of a life made better: Celso Cano’s work with RMYC serves as a great example of youth that make a dramatic improvement over the course of their term of corps service. Celso showed up for his interview at Rocky Mountain Youth Corps wearing a hooded sweatshirt that revealed little of his face. He was very shy and could not easily make eye contact with anyone. Celso was hired by RMYC to work the second session of the Regional Conservation Corps (RCC), the 16-18 year old program. As a sixteen year-old, this was Celso’s first job and first time away from home.
As Celso’s crew gathered for the first time at the RMYC offices, Celso was reluctant to leave his peer mentor’s car. He stated that he was afraid of the newness of everything, including meeting new people.
Over the course of his session, Celso made dramatic improvements in his ability to communicate and participate in the wide range of crew activities. According to his crew leader, Pete, “Celso began to open up and added a lot to the crew dynamics. I think the experience of community living-working, camping, cooking and playing together played a major role in boosting Celso’s self-confidence. Anyone would be proud to have Celso on their crew; he was an awesome team player.”
At the commencement ceremony of his crew’s session, Celso stated “I learned to smile and talk more.” Celso’s session evaluations also elaborated on his hard work and impressive skill development through all aspects of the program.
Rocky Mountain Youth Corps
P.O. Box 775504
Steamboat Springs, CO
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