Reflection 1. Summer Water Crew
By: Edder Valezquez
First I would like to start off by saying, my name is Edder Velazquez and I’m a proud member of the Mile High Youth Corps Water Conservation Pprogram. Now that the formal introduction is out of the way I can begin to let you know a little about myself and what I do for our organization.
Let me start with why I chose Mile High Youth Corps, before this job I was actually part of the carpenters union and working as a forklift driver for a meat plant here in the Denver area, during that time I felt very unsure of what I wanted to do with my life; I just finished graduating from the Art Institute of Colorado with a Bachelors in media arts and animation but had no desire to go further in my career. After two and a half years of just putting in work with no satisfaction I put in my two weeks and got busy looking for a new career choice. That led me to my younger brother Ademir; He would come home with his pants torn and full of mud and grass stains but everyday the smile on his face would never fade. I asked him about his job and he told me that he was a part of ten to twelve individuals co-existing together in conservation projects to better the community, and with that brief description I knew I had to go for it.
Now I’m part of the greatest part of the organization…. (In my opinion)…lol…and I love waking up every day knowing that I’m making a difference. To me this job isn’t just installing toilets. This job is much more, we go to underprivileged homes and non-profit organizations and install life changing tools that last a lifetime, yes I did call toilets “life changing tools”. The reason is because in my term we were able to install close to 900 toilets, and if you do the math that comes to about 6.4 million gallons of water saved every year, with all the savings these families and organizations can go out and get better equipment for their students or buy their son or daughter that present they want for their upcoming birthday. So I know that we do more than just “put in toilets”, we change lives.
Speaking of changing lives I can say without a doubt that being here has changed mine. I had no idea what I wanted to do in my life but now that I’ve got the chance to see all I’ve seen in the retirement homes and non-profit churches I now know. With my education award I am planning to go back to school to major in being a RN (register nurse) just so I can keep helping the unfortunate after my part here.
In closing I am grateful for everything Mile High Youth Corps has done for me and I’m proud to come back and start it again for my second term, but this time I will be coming back as a Senior Corpsmember.
Reflection 2. Summer Conservation Crew
By: Bryan Trasvina
Hi, my name is Bryan Trasvina.
I’m currently in highschool going into my junior year. Before joining the Mile High Youth Corps I had no idea what I was going to do for the summer. Then one day I was talking to a friend of mine, Bobby Harris. He had told me that if I wanted to have a good summer that I should join the Corps.
I asked him what it was and he told me it was a summer job that was a lot of fun and had good people. At first I thought: well, hey, it’s a job and I could use the money. But when I first got to MHYC, I found it was a lot more than just making money. The staff, crew leaders, and other Corpsmembers really make you feel wanted no matter who you are or where you come from.
On my crew’s first project I had no idea what I was doing. I heard the words invasive weeds (which are weeds that were not there before or are not native) and I was completely lost. Then I spoke with a crew leader and she told me what they were. Later into the summer I was asked what I wanted to learn, and I said gardening. I learned very little about gardening and more about how to communicate as a team, build trails, tell the difference between native and non-native weeds, and how to use less energy to help the enviorment.
I have grown in this program more than anywhere else. I have grown in communication, attitude towards others, and actually talking to other people about how they feel and seeing if I could do anything to help.
Also, before leaving Mile High Youth Corps, I plan to use my education award on college, to study marine biology. And, in a future career use what I have learned from the Corps and pass it on to others.