In your early twenties, you are constantly teetering between choosing to see the world and have fun, and wanting to build valuable experience which can help propel you into a successful career. The question is: Why not both? The United States federal government has a great program called the National Civilian Community Corps, or NCCC. This program is similar to the Peace Corps, but it is specifically designed for students aged 18–24 to develop leadership roles and travel all around the country volunteering. For those in leadership roles, there is no upper age limit.
As a part of the NCCC, you will gain valuable experience working for a government organization by assisting homeless people, veterans and seniors. You can also gain the opportunity to work outdoors, repairing trails in local and national parks. Every person’s program makes use of their specific skills in order to maximize the benefit of both the participants and the program.
Top left: At the Anza National Historic Trail, #AmeriCorpsNCCC member Kesslee Steward carefully paints the window frame of a shed. Top Right: AmeriCorps NCCC member Caitlin Matthews of team Water 1 saws out the dimensions for a new shelf. Caitlin and fellow NCCC member Shay Huffman later completed the shelf that houses hand tools, paint buckets and other construction items. Bottom Left: During work for the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, Jordan Reaves of AmeriCorps NCCC’s Water 1 cuts lumber for a ramada to give shade to those visiting the historic site. The team will be doing maintenance on the trail that extends from Nogales, AZ to San Francisco, CA. Bottom Right: While serving alongside the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Santa Cruz County, AmeriCorps NCCC team Water 1 helps care for livestock. Follow us today while we take over the AmeriCorps and Corporation for National and Community Service’s Snapchat account, nationalservice. #ServetheEarth
No matter where you are from, the NCCC can give you the opportunity to see parts of this country you have never seen before. NCCC base locations are in Sacramento, Calif.; Vinton, Iowa; Baltimore, Md.; Vicksburg, Miss.; and Denver, Colo. Each of these locations serves several states to which NCCC members often travel.
Aside from the great experience and free travel NCCC program participants are given, they also receive an educational stipend to help pay for college, graduate school or repayment of student loans. Participants also receive free room, board, meals and health care during the program, as well as access to government jobs and internships available internally.
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