By Heather Dirck
AmeriCorps Week 2021 is March 7-13, an opportunity to recognize the service of the 270,000 Americans engaged in AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors programs annually.
Despite the unprecedented challenges posed in 2020, dedicated citizens continue to help communities, serving those impacted by COVID-19, ensuring students stay on track to graduate, combating hunger and homelessness, responding to natural disasters, fighting the opioid epidemic, helping seniors live independently, supporting veterans and military families, and much more.
Dylan Lindberg, of Pagosa Springs, is currently serving with the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), a 10-month, full-time AmeriCorps program.
Founded in 1994, AmeriCorps NCCC strengthens communities and develops its young adult members into leaders.
AmeriCorps NCCC operates out of four campuses, which serve as regional administrative hubs and training facilities. These campuses — located in Sacramento, Calif.; Aurora, Colo.; Vinton, Iowa; and Vicksburg, Miss. — train and deploy new classes of members several times each year.
Lindberg began his term of service on Oct. 7, 2020, at the Pacific Region campus in Sacramento, Calif., and will graduate from the program on July 14.
As a Corps member, Lindberg is completing a series of different six- to 12-week-long service projects in different places across his assigned region as part of a five- to 12-person team. Projects support disaster relief, the environment, infrastructure improvement, energy conservation, and urban and rural development.
Lindberg said, “I chose to do a term of National Service because I wanted needed to take a year off after college and I wanted my year to be meaningful and have an impact. I also believe that, with the state the country is in now, service is the best way make connections and have a lasting impact.”
Lindberg is currently serving with the Salt Lake County Health Department to assist with the community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is helping the health department with a number of activities, including delivering important necessities, such as food and hygiene supplies, to residents, supporting testing sites, educational outreach, and contact tracing.
Earlier this year, Lindberg served with the city of San Rafael to support the community with wildfire prevention and COVID-19 response efforts. The team helped low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners reduce wildfire risk around their home and supported food and personal protective equipment distribution in response to the pandemic.
Before joining the NCCC, Lindberg attended Pagosa Springs High School and Adams State University, which he graduated from in 2020 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies.
AmeriCorps NCCC members complete at least 1,700 hours of service during the 10-month program. Corps members are all 18 to 26 years old; there is no upper age limit for team leaders. In exchange for their service, all program participants receive $6,345 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 one of hundreds of programs administered by the larger AmeriCorps agency. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at www.americorps.gov/nccc.