by Emily Thornton; crew leader 2017

I have been a part of an AmeriCorps program, the Wyoming Conservation Corps, for almost 3 months and so far. I’ve met amazing people and have learned a lot about myself. I moved to Wyoming from Mississippi not knowing anyone in the area and immediately, the WCC program leaders treated me like a friend and gave me advice about Laramie to help me get my feet planted. Also, I injured myself in the second month of the program and the entire WCC group offered their empathy and care.

In addition, I have really enjoyed the classes that we have. We are encouraged to speak our mind and to question thoughts and ideas. And even with such open communication, and disagreements at times, no one is made to feel that their input is lesser than anyone else’s or that it is not accepted. I have felt that this style of class has allowed for and promoted growth among the group and lets us get to know each other very well.

Another aspect of the program is doing volunteer work. I have been a part of glass recycling in Laramie and it’s been great to have a way to get involved in and get to know the community. Everyone that drops off their bottles is extremely appreciative and obviously cares about this initiative. I think it has given the people that live here another reason to take pride in Laramie.

All in all, my time with AmeriCorps has shown me, first hand, the importance of the work that is done and the positive effects that the program has on everyone that is involved in any way. I am learning new skills and strengths, mentally and physically, and am also making amazing friends along the way. I feel that I am part of a team that is willing to work hard for what they believe in and to be a part of something bigger than themselves. I am excited for the summer work to start and am sure I’ll have plenty more to talk about once the program is over.


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