Local heroes serve in AmeriCorps NCCC

On Friday, Nov. 12, Meghan Pitsch and Rose Marie Fulbright, both of Rockford, were inducted into the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), an AmeriCorps program. They began work on their first of four long-term service projects the week of November 15.

Meghan Pitsch

Founded in 1994, AmeriCorps NCCC is a residential national service program that supports disaster relief, the environment, infrastructure improvement, energy conservation, and urban and rural development.

Pitsch and Fulbright arrived at NCCC’s Southwest Region Campus in Denver and began training on Wednesday, Oct. 13, for 10 months of full-time service with AmeriCorps NCCC. This training emphasized teamwork, leadership development, communication, service learning, and certification by the American Red Cross.

As Corps members, Pitsch and Fulbright will be responsible for completing a series of six- to eight-week-long service projects parts of 10- to 12-person teams. Their first service projects will end on December 17, at which time their teams will break for the winter holidays and begin new projects in new locations in January.

Twenty-eight teams composed of over 300 Corps members and team leaders recently began service projects. Twenty-one of the 28 teams deployed from Denver on Saturday, Nov. 13 to projects throughout the Gulf Coast and southwestern United States, including a nature reserve in Missouri, a children’s hospital in Arkansas, and long-term hurricane recovery in Louisiana, among others. The seven remaining teams are working on projects in Colorado.

There are four other NCCC campuses located in Perry Point, Md., Vinton, Iowa, Vicksburg, Miss., and Sacramento, Calif., each of which is a hub for its respective area of the country, though teams will travel to other regions for disaster relief projects.

Before joining the NCCC, Pitsch graduated from Rockford High School in May 2008 and attended Aquinas College for two years, studying political science and international studies. She is the daughter of Michael and Holly Pitsch.

Pitsch said, “Community service has always been really important to me and traveling is a passion of mine. AmeriCorps NCCC gave me the opportunity to combine these two things while meeting new people and learning about myself.”

Rose Marie Fulbright

Fulbright graduated from Rockford High School in June 2010. She is the daughter of Kathy and Dave Fulbright.

“I don’t know what I want to go to school for and I would like to travel and make a difference in the world before I attend college,” said Fulbright. “It seemed like a really good opportunity to learn about the world and possibly find something that I’m passionate about and want to make a career out of.”

AmeriCorps NCCC members, all 18 to 24 years old, complete at least 1,700 hours of service during the 10-month program. In exchange for their service, they receive $5,550 to help pay for college. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, leadership development, team-building skills, and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, they can indeed make a difference. AmeriCorps NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at www.americorps.gov/nccc.

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