You may not remember 1992, but it was a big year. 1992 was the year Aladdin, Sister Act, and Wayne’s World were released, the year Miley Cyrus and Nick Jonas were born, the year that Nintendo created Mario Kart, and the year the Washington Redskins won their third Super Bowl title. But most importantly, 1992 was the year that Boulder County Commissioner Josie Heath founded Year One, Inc, now known as Mile High Youth Corps (MHYC).
That’s right, Mile High Youth Corps has been around for 20 years. Here are just a few highlights from the history of the Corps:
2000: Year One, Inc changes its name to Mile High Youth Corps
2003: The first year of MHYC’s YouthBuild program
2007: Energy and Water programs launch
2009: The Corps merges with Colorado Legends and Legacies Youth Corps, creating a MHYC field office in Colorado Springs
2010: MHYC hires its 2,000th Corpsmember
We’ve gone through a lot of growth and changes over the past 20 years, but the best is certainly yet to come. This year, we’ll have an official celebration of our 20th Anniversary – one of those fancy gala-type events to recognize our founders and funders. You’ll also see us increasing our visibility around Denver and Colorado Springs, reaching out to our alumni, and continuing to provide amazing youth development programs.
Celebrating our 20th Anniversary wouldn’t be complete without YOU and your stories of the Corps. What is your favorite memory from MHYC? Post a comment below or continue the conversation on facebook.
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Mile High Youth Corps in Colorado Springs is proud to name nineteen-year-old Janari McCampbel as our Corpsmember of the Year. “JJ” is a Colorado Springs native, has been with our Corps for two Summer-of-Service years, and has earned education awards totaling $2,415 to date. He is now a freshman at Pueblo Community College majoring in Automotive Technology.
Janari’s corps career began on a day crew in 2010. Mile High Youth Corps was his first job. He came wanting to do something “physical” and putting his passion for restoring the environment to use. With some good, early coaching from a Crew Leader who saw his potential, he began to immediately improve his performance, learn new skills, and take on more responsibility; he has never looked back. At the end of the 2010 season, Janari “exceeded expectations” in all areas of his evaluation. His crew leader reported, “JJ works hard at all times and motivates others to do the same. He is a constant positive force.”
In 2011 Janari again applied to work on a day crew. Unfortunately only Camp Crew positions were available and wilderness camping was new to Janari and his family. They had many concerns about him accepting a position where he could be camped in the backcountry for up to ten days at a time. But Janari persevered in his wish to try a camping crew and convinced his parents to let him try. In a much more challenging environment, he continued to thrive and lead. His Crew Leader described Janari as someone who “self-initiates tasks and always volunteers for more; someone I can count on.” Janari says the corps experience has had, “a very positive effect on my life.” However, everyone knows that Janari has a very positive effect on the corps too.
Janari McCampbel: MHYC-CS 2011 Corpsmember of the Year
For more information on the awards ceremony (Feb. 6, 2012), please visit www.CYCA.org.
Youth Corps Awards Ceremony Invitation
Or for a PDF version of the invitation: YouthCorpsAwardsCeremonyInvitation
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I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Brent and I am the new Outreach Alumni Mentor for 2012. I’m sure all of you were familiar with my predecessor, Michelle. Michelle wore a lot of hats at MHYC and in doing so, connected with many of you through this blog and our Twitter and Facebook pages. By all accounts, she left behind some very large shoes to fill but I am very excited and committed to doing my best for our community and this organization.
I joined Mile High Youth Corps in July of 2011 and simply fell in love with the work that we do. I am truly looking forward to the year ahead, and what a year we have coming up! In 2012, Mile High Youth Corps will celebrate its 20th Anniversary! We will be bringing on new crews for Land, Energy, and Water, powering though a Summer of Service, graduating a fantastic class of YouthBuild and bringing on a whole new group of Colorado youth to earn their GEDs and diplomas.
I cannot say enough about this organization and the community it serves, but that won’t stop me from trying. Over the next twelve months, I will give you a sneak peak into the inner workings of your favorite non-profit, keep you updated on all of our current projects in and around your neighborhood, and gear up for an amazing 20th anniversary celebration. I know I can count on you all, our dedicated followers, to help us make 2012 the most successful year of service that Colorado and Mile High Youth Corps have ever seen!
I look forward to serving you in the future,
2012 Outreach Alumni Mentor
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Denver, Fairview Elementary School, Happy Haynes, Kelly Causey, Martin Luther King Jr., MHYC, Mile High Youth Corps, MLK Jr. Day, Sun Valley neighborhood, volunteer, volunteering on January 18, 2012 |
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Date: January 16, 2012
Time: 8 a.m.
Location: Fairview Elementary School, Denver CO
Roughly 50 volunteers showed up this Martin Luther King Jr. Day to give back to their community. The focus this year? Fairview Elementary School in the Sun Valley Neighborhood: Denver’s most notoriously poor community. Though the school appears to be sturdy and noble from the outside, the inside is struggling. Though Fairview is one of the most richly diverse schools in the Denver system, Nearly 100% of the students at Fairview are on the free lunch plan and the interior of the school was in need of much cosmetic repair. Though a nonprofit like Mile High Youth Corps doesn’t have the capacity to solve the free lunch issue, they tackled what they could do best: getting hands on and dirty.
The event was kicked off by moving speeches by MHYC Executive Director, Kelly Causey, and by Denver school board member, Happy Haynes. Both spoke of Dr. King, his visions, and how even 44 years after his death, his dreams are still alive. With those encouraging words, the volunteers set to work.
The entire group consisted of 28 YouthBuild members, 20 Fairview students, staff and teachers, and MHYC staff, alumni and families. What was accomplished in their four hours of volunteering?
- two cafeteria walls were decorated with painted stencils and encouraging words
- the baseboards of one hallway were touched up with paint
- a boys’ bathroom was repainted
- one auditorium wall was repainted
- inspirational quotes were painted here and there throughout the school, in halls and classrooms
- wooden alphabet letters were creatively painted and displayed in a main hallway
- a couple dozen clay tiles were measured, flattened and cut, with the intent to later be fired, painted and displayed by the students
- snow and ice were removed from the playground to increase safety during recess.
All of this was done by volunteers ranging from kindergartners to senior citizens. The diversity of the group – all ages, races, sexes and creeds – couldn’t have been more fitting for a day devoted to Dr. King. He would have been proud to see the cohesiveness of the people.
Though Fairview is a poverty-stricken school and Sun Valley is an equally ailing neighborhood, it was difficult to see in the faces of the community members. The children laughed, played and participated in the projects with gusto. The parents, MHYC affiliates and other volunteers were equally engaged. It was a very pleasant sight: all of the woes of the community seemed to be forgotten for that few hours. It was certainly a productive and encouraging day for many.
(Photos to come soon!)
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Posted in YouthBuild, tagged speech, YouthBuild on January 11, 2012 |
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MHYC’s very own alumni of the YouthBuild program (class of 2010), spoke to the YouthBuild Conference of Youth Leaders.
Below you can view his speech:
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