Week One

The first week of work is one which a neophyte employer often ponders prior to experiencing it. Wondering what to expect, what to wear and who will likely become your favored companions in the workforce is often the typical flurrying of questions which loom over one’s head before the first day occurs.

Well, given that Mile High Youth Corps is not your typical work culture (no cubicles or cash registers here!!!), I have to imagine that the new Summer of Service Corpsmembers were elbows deep in a different breed of work environment.

My crew, specifically, was placed in Panorama Park. When we arrived, the park resembled any other Denver metro park. Though it appeared that the park could use some tweaking here and there, I was uncertain that there was much we would be doing to alter its appearance. Well, I was wrong about that.

After four days of mulching, removing tree stumps, grubbing, and building up retaining structures, the park had taken on a new form. Polished and prepped for summer, the results of hard work and perseverance paid off when neighbors stopped by to thank us for our efforts.

What was not expected, however, was that the first week on the job would include record-breaking heat. Arriving at an endpoint of manicured landscaping mounds and refined beds meant that each of the Corpsmembers had to invest heavy labor into a 97 degree Wednesday while neighbor children ran through sprinklers 20 feet away in the park’s open lawn. The crew that I have only come to know recently has already proved itself in the eyes of the local residents, those of the park’s maintenance crew, those of the crew leaders, and especially in their own. I suppose when you combine an equal share of both integrity and physical devotion, results can far surpass expectations.

Keep up the great work guys!

-Derek Berardi, AmeriCorps Leadership and Conservation Corpsmember

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