Mile High Youth Corps is proud to recognize two of our Corpsmembers who were selected for this year’s Corpsmember of the Year Award! This past Monday February 3rd, Kelsey Bowers of Denver and Hope Radford of Colorado Springs, along with eight other Corpsmember from around the state, were honored at the Colorado Youth Corps Association Annual Youth Corps Awards Ceremony. Corpsmembers are nominated by their peers and MHYC staff for this designation.
Kelsey started with MHYC in August 2012 as a Water Conservation Corpsmember. Kelsey has shown incredible growth over her year of service. She has become an exceptional leader while also overcoming significant internal and external challenges. Kelsey also has proved to be an inspiration to her crew and staff by overcoming an unfathomable personal tragedy, losing her father in a sudden accident. However, she continued to work through grief with the same compassion and positivity, motivated by her commitment to personal growth and her desire to provide for her son.
Kelsey has been a profound testament to the will of the human spirit. She is a model and an inspiration for her peers and for the staff that have worked with her. We are happy to have Kelsey return this year with Mile High Youth Corps as an Assistant Crew Leader on the Water Conservation Crew. After her term of service, she plans to use her education awards on college, to learn to become an EMT.
Hope Radford came to Mile High Youth Corps the summer she graduated from high school in 2012 and came back to continue her service during the summer session of 2013 after her first year at the University of Montana where she majors in Resource Conservation. Hope has been nominated as our Corpsmember of the Year for one simple reason, she deserves it. Hope is an incredibly hard worker that leads by example. She consistently volunteers for new tasks and is willing to sacrifice for the good of her team and the community.
Four weeks after the devastating Waldo Canyon Fire was extinguished our Corps was contacted by the National Forest Service Burn Area Emergency Response Team to see if we might have a crew available to begin restoring the beloved Waldo Canyon Trail. Although the Summer of Service term was over, Hope and a handful of others canceled their summer vacations before returning to school and volunteered for the project. Hope has worked on extended wildfire restoration projects in both the Hayman and the Waldo Canyon burn areas.
When asked to reflect on her term of service Hope had this to say,
It is extremely difficult to put into words what Mile High Youth Corps has meant for me. In my years with MHYC, I have grown tremendously as an individual, met some of the most inspirational people in my life, and served my community. MHYC has given me the opportunity to strengthen my body, my teamwork abilities, and my leadership skills. In those many weeks in the back country, I learned so much about myself and about working with others who are very different than me. My crew members and leaders have become some of my closest friends and most influential examples in my life. MHYC has also been an important way for me to contribute to the community. While I have met amazing people and had the time of my life, I have been creating trails and restoring forests so others can do the same.
Congratulations to Kelsey and Hope! You are both truly an inspiration and exemplify the mission of Mile High Youth Corps!