Posted in ACLC, Green News, MHYC News, Project Roundup, Service Story, Water Conservation, tagged AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Leadership and Conservation, Colorado, Denver, Green Jobs, Mile High Youth Corps, Service, success, youth jobs on January 29, 2010 |
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Albert Einstein once said, “It is high time that the ideal of success should be replaced by the ideal of service.”
As I contemplate my last year of service as an AmeriCorps Leadership and Conservation Corpsmember and find myself in my second year at MHYC as the Outreach Alumni Mentor I realize that, for me, the words success and service are synonymous. My success last year was not measured by how much money I made or by an office with a view. Truth is, living on a stipend has taught me more lessons than a bursting bank account and working at a state park with the mountains as a backdrop and hawks flying overhead is better than any office I could envision.
Still, my accomplishments were not even calculated by how many light bulbs I screwed in or by the number of trees I conquered with my chain saw. But rather, success for me came in the opportunity to serve the underserved and listen to those that are usually unheard. I was completely overwhelmed when I installed a toilet for a woman whose tiny four-year-old son named Kanye came and sat next to me on the bathroom floor with his Fisher Price tool set and told me that, when he grew up, he wanted to be just like me. Or when an elderly woman was brought almost to tears as she shared her story of her late husband’s service in WWII and thanked us for our service explaining how empowering it was for her to see young women like myself having so many opportunities and using them to do good. “Thank you,” she said as she took my hand in her smooth, weathered palm, “Thank you.” These experiences are immeasurable in terms of salary or even success but they were possible because of my decision to serve.
With only our YouthBuild crew up and running, it has been quiet around MHYC for the last month but that all changes on Monday when over 30 new Corpsmembers begin their terms of service. I, for one, want to thank them for choosing to serve and give back to their community. But the truth is, although they will be helping to better the lives and spaces of others, in turn they will be bettering themselves. And that is success.
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Posted in ACLC, Green News, Leadership Council, MHYC News, Project Roundup, Service Story, tagged AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Leadership and Conservation, Colorado, Colorado Youth Corps Association, Corpsmember of the Year, Denver, Green Jobs, Mile High Youth Corps, youth jobs on January 26, 2010 |
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Yesterday we celebrated last year’s AmeriCorps Leadership and Conservation Corpsmember Rachel Hansen as she accepted her award for Mile High Youth Corps’ Corpsmember of the Year. The Colorado Youth Corps Association hosted the 2009 Champions and Corpsmembers of the Year at the gold-domed Capitol Building.
Rachel receiving her award from Senator Pat Steadman
Rachel proved herself as a leader and hard worker over her ten months of service. She worked with her fellow Corpsmembers installing energy and water-saving devices, worked in local and state parks doing land conservation and represented her crew on the Leadership Council. She has moved on to another AmeriCorps position in Florida and we’re wishing her all the best! Congratulations Rachel!
Rachel posing with the other Colorado Corpmembers of the Year
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Posted in Green News, Project Roundup, Water Conservation, tagged AmeriCorps, Colorado, Denver, Green Jobs, High Efficiency Toilet, Mile High Youth Corps, Water Conservation, youth jobs on January 21, 2010 |
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How many ways can you think of to use water? Ice cubes in your soda on a hot day? Swimming in a pool? Taking a shower? …. Flushing it down the toilet?!?? Believe it or not, we flush more water than we drink. An older toilet can use over three gallons of water with each flush. No matter how many people are living in your home or using your toilet, if you don’t have a High Efficiency Toilet (HET), a lot of water is going straight down the ‘old porcelain throne. But here at Mile High Youth Corps, we’re working to change that with our dedicated and impressive water crew. Not only does the water crew replace water guzzling old toilets with shiny new HETs, they also install new water-saving sink aerators on kitchen and bathroom faucets and high efficiency showerheads.
You may wonder how much water a small crew of 18- 24 year-olds can really save. Well, wonder no more because the numbers are in and they are nothing short of incredible!
Since the program began in 2006, the Mile High Youth Corps Water Crew has installed 11,504 aerators, 5,343 showerheads and a shocking 5,473 HETs! While those numbers can be hard to grasp, think about this, with all those water-saving installations, we conserved 118,275,353 gallons of water! That’s the equivalence of the water it would take to fill over 182 Olympic size swimming pools!
Wondering how much water your toilet uses? The math is simple; all you need is a measuring tape and a calculator! The equation is the length of the tank of your toilet multiplied by the width of the tank multiplied by the depth multiplied by .00433.
Follow these steps:
• First remove the lid to the tank of your toilet. Measure from the left side of the tank to the right side of the tank. Write down this number (your number should be around 16 inches).
• Next measure the width of the tank from the wall toward your body. Write down this number.
• Now this is the trickiest step because you’re not simply measuring the depth of the tank, you’re measuring the water in the tank. Insert the measuring tape along the back of the tank, into the water until it touches the bottom of the tank. Note where the water reaches on the measuring tape. Now flush the toilet. Before the tank starts to refill note where the water was when the toilet was finished flushing and subtract this number from the number of where the water was before the toilet was flushed. For example, if your water reached the ten inch mark before flushed and after flushed was at the two inch mark, your number is eight.
• Now multiple these three numbers together and then multiple your final number by .00433 and your answer is the number in gallons of water your toilet uses with each flush. For example, if the length of my toilet is 16 inches, the width is 6 inches and the depth is 8 inches, my equation would be
16 x 6 x 8 x 0.00433 = 3.3 gallons of water per flush!
The toilets we install use only one gallon of water per flush!
For water saving tips click here!
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Last February, I embarked on a journey from Chicago to Denver to serve as an AmeriCorps Leadership and Conservation member, not knowing what my ten months of service had in store for me. The experience brought me to places I never dreamed I would be, doing things I could not have possibly imagined. As my term drew to a close, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend another year of service at Mile High Youth Corps, this time as the Conservation Alumni Mentor. I look forward to 2010 for many reasons, not the least of which is the chance to offer my support and perspective to the incoming AmeriCorps Leadership and Conservation Corpsmembers. In my role as Alumni Mentor, I will be able to direct and inspire Corpsmember voice through my involvement in projects such as Leadership Council, Service Learning, and other Environmental Education. I hope to allow incoming Corpsmembers the chance to flourish in their quest to develop into the men and women that are the backbone of a healthy society.
With one year at Mile High Youth Corps under my belt, I have taken off my cargo pants and work boots and changed into business casual as I start year two as the Outreach Alumni Mentor. I’m trading a chainsaw for a laptop and a screw driver for a high-tech work cell phone. Things are changing and less than a week into my new position I’m already feeling the excitement of opportunity and the stress of an office job. The emails are flowing and the phone is ringing and I’m ready to see what this next year has to offer. In my new position I hope to bridge the gap between Corpsmembers and staff, promote communication and conflict resolution and get out into the field recruiting new Corpsmembers and spreading the word about the amazing work done at MHYC. I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new water and energy Corpsmembers in February, excited to see how they will take on the challenges and opportunities at their fingertips.
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