HomeNewsAmeriCorps team wrapping up time with Love Your Block

AmeriCorps team wrapping up time with Love Your Block

The City of Jackson’s Love Your Block program incorporated the services of a team of workers from an AmericCorps NCCC team to help some homes with repair work around their house in the past few weeks.

AmeriCorps is a national organization that recruits service-minded young people between the ages of 18 and 26 to join an educational cohort to learn more about how government, non-profit organizations and other entities work that exist to help other people. The organization then sends those young people out in different groups to get things done in different locations across the country.

Alex Sanchez is the leader of a team that’s been in Jackson for most of the month of April and the first week of May helping out at different houses throughout town that needed minor repairs or landscaping work done.

“This is the fourth place we’ve been to during this spring session,” Sanchez said, saying the first three stops on their tour were on the coast of North Carolina, near Athens, Ga. and working in state parks in north Mississippi.

The team consists of people mainly from Texas with a couple others from Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Ben Gunn is 18 years old and is from Fort Worth, Texas.

“This has been a very educational experience for me,” Gunn said. “Since we first started with the training last summer, we traveled to different parts of the country for that too.”

Gunn was part of work done in New England and also did some work in the Smoky Mountains mapping out new trails in the park.

Nikaula Acosta-Rees is 19 years old and has plans to work in the national park system, hopefully at Yosemite National Park. So the experience of working at state parks in Mississippi had some relevance toward that end even though the environments in the areas are different as well as simply working in state parks as opposed to national parks.

“But there are some things that I learned more about that I will need to learn more, I’m sure,” Acosta-Rees said. “Park maintenance, dealing with the public, protecting the terrain and environment of the area … all of that is very important in park work.”

The group consisted of eight people between the ages of 18 and 26, and Gunn said the experience has been good for all of them to learn more about public service, non-profit work and working with the government.

“There have been opportunities for us to work with all of that, and Love Your Block, which the government here in Jackson coordinates, is a great example of that,” Gunn said. “The goal is to help those who need help for the good of everyone in the City, and we’ve been able to take part in that while also learning other skills that come from being a part of a team.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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