I’ll never forget my Summer of Service at Mile High Youth Corps… It was the hardest job I ever loved.
During my senior year of high school I was looking for a summer job, also my first full time job. I applied for the Water Conservation Crew and was offered the “floater” position. I was shocked that they wanted me to take on different rolls from water conservation, the trailblazing crew and rock climbing crews… Why had they chosen me was the question repeating inside my head.
On the first day of work, or rather orientation, I was nervous. I sat there alone for not even a minute when an AmeriCorps Leadership and Conservation (ACLC) Corpsmember sat by me. Orientation came and went. I learned the ins and outs of the youth corps, but still was not prepared for what was to come…
My first week on the crews was an experience. I began working for the water crew and ended up working overtime with the rock climber, or trail building, crew. My nervousness was replaced with enjoyment.
Through the weeks I got to know all of my fellow crews. I realized MHYC was where I belonged. I got to venture in the outdoors, places I have never been to, even though I’ve lived in Colorado my whole life. I befriended many people from around the country and even the world, learning their backgrounds and who they were. I learned about the world around me.
The memories I had during my Summer of Service is a sacred piece of who I am today, I’ll never forget the dances we performed while traveling to sites… nor the amazing mix CDs everyone contributed… nor the adventures (mostly fantasized) with fellow crewmembers… nor our competition for best lunch of the day… nor our failed attempts at themed days… nor the times, such as naming plants after food, and meeting a project sponsor’s pet black widow spider…
Although it is over, the ACLC that sat next to me at orientation still brightens my day with weekly updates on her life… and my fellow crewmembers still keep in contact now and then even though we all went our separate ways.
At MHYC I did not belong to one crew, I belonged to a community, a community made up of youth, like myself, trying to better ourselves and the world, together.
-Christopher Vieyra, 2009 Summer of Service Corpsmember