They’ve lived in tents, provided relief to tornado-devastated communities, mentored disadvantaged youth, coordinated tens of thousands of volunteers, and developed into our nation’s future leaders. With over half a million hours of service and 138 projects behind them, Meghan Pitsch and Rose Marie Fulbright, both of Rockford, are two of 284 members of AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), who have completed 10 months of full-time service to communities in need. Pitsch and Fulbright, who arrived at NCCC’s Southwest Region Campus in Denver on October 13, 2010, to begin their term of service, graduated from the program on Friday, July 29. Most Corps members departed Denver and began travel to their home of record immediately following the morning ceremony. Pitsch, Fulbright and their respective teams of about 10 other members completed a series of six- to eight-week-long projects in different communities across the country. NCCC projects support disaster relief, the environment, energy conservation, infrastructure improvement, and urban and rural development. The graduating class completed 51 projects in disaster services this year, including a major response following the tornado that ripped through Joplin, Mo. AmeriCorps NCCC certifies 100 percent of its members in disaster relief, and has responded to every national disaster since the program began in 1994. There are four other NCCC campuses located in Perry Point, Md., Vicksburg, Miss., Vinton, Iowa, 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. Michael and Holly Pitsch are her parents. Before joining the NCCC, Fulbright graduated from Rockford High School in June 2010. Kathy Fulbright and Dave Fulbright are her parents.
Reader defends AmeriCorps Dear Editor, I was born and raised in Rockford, and have grown up with the Squire. I believe it is a great voice for the members of the community. I have been traveling the country for the past few years with AmeriCorps, working on community service projects dealing with many different issues—education, environment, and disaster relief and recovery. I feel like this issue is something that is relevant to every single American citizen. Please feel free to edit the following as you see fit. Printing this would be such a great way to spread the word about AmeriCorps. The following is a letter written in regard to the proposed budget cuts to the Corporation for National and Community Service and AmeriCorps. The budget cuts will eliminate programs that are vital to the well being of our society. Thanks for reading. The more people this reaches, the more impact we can have on the decisions that Congress is making. An open letter to the Government of the United States of America: I was an AmeriCorps member from 2006 to 2008, serving with the National Civilian Community Corps (CCC) in Sacramento, Calif., Class 13 and 14. I had the opportunity to serve communities all over this wonderful country. Because of this experience, I am stronger as an individual, I am closer to my family, and I have a network of good that spreads around the globe. I know that service has a huge place in this society and we are truly here to make each other’s lives better. My great-grandparents served in the CCC and I am honored to have been able to serve my country in the same regard. I will continue do it for the rest of my life. I’m writing this today because I feel helpless and desperate. Eliminating the Corporation for National and Community Service and therefore cutting AmeriCorps is something that I cannot fathom. I understand that it is an expensive program. I understand that the budget is complex and our country is in debt. But I want to make something clear: AmeriCorps is vital. I’m not sure if you quite understand the impact that these programs have on individuals, communities and the overall wellbeing of our nation. Being […]
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. 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.” 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 […]