Shawano woman serves in national program

Lily Smith of Shawano recently began a 10-month term of service in the National Civilian Community Corps, an AmeriCorps program. Smith, based out of the regional campus in Denver, is currently serving on her first project.

Smith said, “I wanted to give back to my country and help others in the most efficient way I could perceive, and AmeriCorps NCCC provides that!”

Smith is the daughter of Donna Smith.

Founded in 1994, AmeriCorps NCCC is a residential national service program that supports disaster relief, the environment, infrastructure improvement, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. Over the past 22 years, over 1 million Americans have served the nation through the family of AmeriCorps programs.

Currently, about 80,000 people serve in AmeriCorps programs nationwide each year, with nearly 2,000 of those in AmeriCorps NCCC.

Smith arrived in Denver in mid-October to begin training. This training emphasized teamwork, leadership development, communication, safety, and project preparation.

As a corps member, Smith will be responsible for completing a series of six- to 12-week-long service projects as part of a 10- to 12-person team. Her first service projects will end in mid-December, at which time the teams will break for the winter holidays and begin a new project in a new location in January.

Twenty-two teams composed of nearly 250 Corps Members and Team Leaders began service projects in November throughout the Southwest region. Some of these projects include building affordable housing in Colorado, Wyoming, and Arizona, supporting at-risk youth in Kansas and Missouri, and assisting with ongoing disaster recovery in Texas and Oklahoma, among a variety of others.

AmeriCorps NCCC members, all 18 to 24 years old, complete at least 1,700 hours of service during the 10-month program. In exchange for their service, they receive $6,095 to help pay for college. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, leadership development, team building skills, and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, they can indeed make a difference. AmeriCorps NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at www.nationalservice.gov/nccc.