I had the opportunity to work with NYC on their first adult crew as an AmeriCorps member in Oregon and as a crew leader for youth in Idaho. I gained a lot of experience and skills in the adult crew that will further my career. Idaho was life changing for me in ways I didn't think would happen. I learned just as much from leading the kids as they learned from me. My crew leaders have been amazing and my program directors Steve and Tom were fantastic.
However, multiple times have the two girls in the payroll office sent my checks late (after not properly setting up my direct deposit). After my Idaho session was finished they did not send my check until I called about it in which they tried to blame the postal service for being late to hide their mistake. They also gave attitude whenever a draw was requested. I'm unfortunately not the only one with accounts such as this with these girls.
NYC is such a great opportunity to get kids enthusiastic and excited for the field of environmental stewardship if not grow a healthy respect for the environment and the people who dedicate their time and lives for it. I recommend all teens and young adults to experience NYC and other Corps around the country for at least a session.
I have had the pleasure of participating in planning and design processes with NYC as a member of an architectural team. During this process we toured the facility and met with staff in order to understand the workings of the organization as well as plans and needs for the future. During this process I was immensely impressed with the organization's commitment to the success of the youth it serves as well as the broad-reaching services it provides to communities far beyond its home on Augusta Street. NYC is deeply rooted to its neighborhood through its activities and facilities. The large community garden is utilized by youth as well as neighbors and a wetland on the grounds is being restored. Working closely with NYC, we prepared plans for improvements to the building and site (a former elementary school) that will ensure its continued ability to not only continue to function in its present location, but to do so more effectively and efficiently. Northwest Youth Corps looks far into the future and is taking steps now to ensure its continued ability to provide today's youth the necessary skills for future success.
Review from Guidestar
I have hired Northwest Youth Corps every summer since 1993 to accomplish trail work on the Fremont National Forest. We have had approximately 200 crews working for us during that time span with 10 crew members and 2 crew leaders per crew for a total of around 2200 young people. My experiences with those crews has always been very positive. They have always exceeded expectations in every regard. The work they have accomplished over the years is truly remarkable. Our trails program would not be what it is without the efforts of the Northwest Youth Corps crews and the staff in their headquarters office. I would highly recommend them to anyone with no reservations whatsoever! Working with them has been one of the joys and high points of my 28 years with the Forest Service. Larry Hills, Fremont-Winema National Forest.
Review from Guidestar
There are few opportunities out there for young people as good as the Northwest Youth Corps. As a former staff member, and licensed high school teacher, I know the positive influence NYC has had on many youth. In a time of so much media and screens, NYC offers young people the refreshing gift of healthy relationship-building and physical activity in the world's best classroom - the great outdoors. Students come away with a deep sense of self confidence, new friends, hard-earned money in their pockets and great memories that will last a lifetime. Working at the Northwest Youth Corps is almost certain to be one of the best experience you'll ever have in your life.
Review from Guidestar
1- The Executve Director, Jeff Parker, assisted me in creating the Youth Corps of Southern Arizona(YCOSA). He dedicated many hours of technical and practical(hands own) assistance. We modeled our program after NYC's highly successful youth development organization. 2- Over many years YCOSA sent crewmembers to receive training from NYC- particparing as Crew Members and in Crew Leader trainings. Those participants to a person all found the NYC experience to be of value- assisting them personally to become better Crew Leaders and better stewards of our natural resources. 3- YCOSA also recruited former crew members from the NYC pool of volunteers/former participants. All of those young adults spoke admirably of their NYC experience. 4- Lasty, for those unfamiliar with this type of youth development organization, the outdoor environment can be very challenging- emotionally and physically. Many of the participants are not used to such challenges and many are struggling with a lot of issues- drugs, abuse, failure. The challenges are many and the rewards can serve the participants in all phases of their lives.
Review from Guidestar
Northwest Youth Corps is both a fantastic organization and a wise investment. NYC partners with agencies like the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, providing those agencies a workforce to complete necessary work. The agencies pay a much lower rate for the labor they receive and the youth participants gain invaluable (demanding, exacting, complex, etc.) work experience. It is a triple win for taxpayers, donors, and youth. The program's legacy of positive impacts on youth and helping conserve some of the best places in the west in unparalleled. This program is a critical part of the fabric of youth development in the northwest, connecting youth to our unique environmental treasures and instilling an uncompromising work and social ethic in them.
Review from Guidestar
I have worked with at-risk young people as a professional in the conservation corps community, therapeutic wilderness settings, and work skills programs. To know the intensity and challenge of working with any teen and then to add the challenge of performing skilled work in an unpredictable environment, I can't recommend a program more than NYC. Life changing experiences are shared by a community of young people that truly learn what is possible if you choose to challenge yourself. The "real" world of the outdoors is the classroom for weeks of learning. In this plugged in world it is refreshing to know that NYC participants & staffmembers make it happen with their hands & simple tools with wooden handles. My experiences and skills learned as a participant in the NYC community help me on a daily basis.
My name is Ashley Silver and there's honestly nothing I can say that's changed my life more then Northwest Youth Corps. My initial experience there wasn't exactly adequate. I was going through a difficult period in my life where I was very negligent and it was actually my mom who made me look into their 5 week summer program. I wasn't in any place to argue and I didn't really know what it was all about anyway so I wasn't opposed to the idea. I cannot deny that before being involved with NYC I lacked the principles of many things such as self motivation, self discipline, obedience and benevolence. I was definitely a very stubborn and close-minded individual. Now that I look back on myself I can see how much I have grown just in the past year since I participated in this summer program. In all reality, it was exactly this, that triggered the change in me. It wasn't until I experienced this program that I began to figure out what I took pride in doing and realized the responsibilities of being a contributing individual in our society today. When I initially did a session I still had some of these bad habits and lacked a lot of these principles so when I went to re-apply they weren't so sure about rehiring me because I hadn't demonstrated that I was diligent in the work they were doing and I had a record of having bad attitude towards my duties. It took a significant commitment for me to prove to them that I had changed, and while going to school at Northwest Youth Corps' Outdoor School, I was right next door to the headquarters everyday so they talked with my the faculty at my school. I not only had to give my word that I would be commited but I had to show it in my performance at school as well. I can glady say I did just that and completely turned it around. I graduated from ODS in June and got recommended for BLP on the session I just did in August. I've met so many of the most important people in my life through NYC and know where I want to go and what I want to do in life because of it. I can't express enough how much this organization means to me and I absolutely plan to continue my involvement with them in the future.
We became foster parents to one of our son’s friends when the young man was almost 16. He was taken from his mother when he was only 2 for abuse by her boyfriend and put in a foster home where he lived until they gave up on him. After 12 years, he was tossed out of the only home and only family structure he had known and we became his safety net.
As you might expect, he was filled with anger, sadness, loneliness and grief. He found it difficult to be connected to others because of fear and trust issues. We did our best to give him love, family and a sense of worth but he had already been badly damaged by what had happened to him. He was ripe to fall into a bad crowd while searching for a place to belong.
We were familiar with Northwest Youth Corp because our older son had worked as a counselor for them when he finished college. He had told us some wonderful stories about emotionally “lost” kids finding connection and building their self-esteem. We knew that our foster son needed to learn about teamwork and feel the gratification for a job well done and we thought what better way than to learn this while caring for the environment. So, we sent our foster son to the NYC program. He was reluctant at first but knowing that he would be given a nice check for the work when he was finished helped him consider this challenge. And, challenged he was. There were several times that we thought we would have to go and get him but he toughed it through and the counselors did not give up on him.
When we went to camp with him for parent’s night he greeted us dirty and smelly but with a smile from ear to ear. He had made friends and he had experienced what it felt like to have accomplished something important. It was easy to see the camaraderie that he had built with the counselors and other kids. Everyone was held to the same high standard and they were proud of it. It was amazing to watch these gifted and wise counselors work with the kids. They treated the kids with kindness and respect and seemed to know exactly what these kids needed. Our foster son grew in ways he never expected and learned things that would last him a lifetime. He had indeed joined a good “gang” and now he knew the difference.
My husband and I have become lifelong supporters of NYC because of the wonderful work they do with kids and for the legacy of trails, bridges and a healthy environment. Every year we get dozens of letters written by the kids in their own hand about what it has meant to them to be a part of this unique experience. NYC is training the next generation to be stewards of our precious land and along the way building teamwork, self-esteem and pride in an accomplishment that has been well done. So, Bravo and take a standing ovation Northwest Youth Corp! And, to your leaders, counselors and to the legislators and contributors who support your work, please keep this work going and expanding! We support YOU!
Dr. Barbara Dailey
Review from Guidestar
I supervise a Voc/Ed program for teens in Lane County, OR that prepare youth to be successful at school, at work and in the community. I consistently refer youth to NYC with the utmost confidence that they will have amazing experiences in safe and responsible environments. This program invites adult leaders and youth who desire challenge and who are not afraid to challenge themselves. However, this program is not for everyone. This is not a traditional summer camp or an adventure experience where youth are coddled in any way. The leaders and youth learn to push personal limits as it relates to work ethic, personal growth and environmental education. I highly recommend NYC for individuals ready to work, learn and accept personal responsibility for their community.