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VYDC Program Accomplishments

Every year, VYDC tracks the impacts members make on communities across Vermont. See statistics and stories below.

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Cumulative Program Statistics

2018-2019 Service Year

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2017-2018 Service Year

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2016-2017 Service Year

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Stories from the members:

VYDC Member at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Vergennes, VT

This quarter, I spent most of my time in the boat shop, building with youth. One of the coolest things was one kid, who needs a walker, discovering the uses of the “creepe,” the kind of rolling dolly mechanics use to roll under cars. He was able to roll around under the boat, drilling pilot holes, which gave him a unique kind of freedom he doesn’t have using the walker in our very busy, crowded shop.

VYDC Member at Essex CHIPS Essex Junction, VT

Because I served, CHIPS was able to serve almost 3,000 healthy snacks to our youth, using over 25 different fruits and vegetables and including a trivia question designed to make our youth think more about where their food comes from and how it affects their body. Spending part of each day cooking with our youth was easily a highlight of my service year, and their interest in food nutrition and culinary skills was inspiring to watch develop over the year.

VYDC Accomplishments: About

2015-2016 Service Year

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Stories from the members:

VYDC Member at UVM Extension 4-H Tech Wizards, Burlington, VT

I was able to develop and facilitate many new programs during the second quarter. Two of these programs have a culminating event coming up that youth are very excited about. Youth in the Edmunds Middle School Cooking and Nutrition program will be taking part in the Jr Iron Chef VT competition on March 19th. And the JFK Elementary Tech Wizards will be visiting the UVM robotics department to explore several robotics games/simulators that were developed by UVM researchers. I hope that these events will encourage youth to pursue robotics and cooking activities beyond the end of these programs.

Vermont Youth Development Corps Team Leader, Montpelier, VT
Partnering with Military Kids Vermont (MKVT), both my fellow Team Leader and I were able to participate in programming for their February camp. Assisting behind the scenes, we were able to get a few of our VYDC members (members from Essex CHIPS, 4-H, and EarthWalk) involved for either half of a day or a full day of programming with the kids from military families. This was such an awesome experience to watch our members put their planning and implementing of programs to use at such a cool camp! The week ran smoothly, and it was a blast to be with this population of youth in Vermont. I even got the opportunity to further explain what AmeriCorps was and what we do as members. One of the youth approached me and read my AmeriCorps pin saying, “Ameri…Corpse… so like American bodies? What do you do?” Although he had read it wrong, he was very interested in our program, and later thanked us for the week. Seeing how our members interact with the youth at the camp and how appreciative the youth were to have them there is a clear sign that what our program is doing is important for the youth in our communities.

VYDC Accomplishments: About

2014-2015 Service Year

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Stories from the members:

VYDC Member at Committee on Temporary Shelter, VT

One five year old girl was upset because she saw her older siblings leaving for camp. That day, she helped a volunteer and me harvest in the garden. She exuberantly pulled up baby carrots and baby onions and helped harvest lettuce. She tried each vegetable. As we were outside it began to lightly rain, but we kept working in the garden. Then she helped wash and prepare the vegetables for dinner. She had a very fun time being a gardener.

VYDC Member at Laraway Youth & Family Services, Johnson, VT
Although the produce wasn’t weighed, the amount of fresh vegetables we had for families to take at the end of summer filled two folding tables and then some. Cabbages were stacked next to a pyramid of pickled beets, carrots were piled high next to an overflowing basket of green and purple bush beans, and vases of flowers and herbs towered over the rest of the garden’s bounty. The kids took bagfuls home, choosing their favorites among the onions, garlic, greens, peas and more. The display of the harvest that day was only part of the influence the garden had on students’ diets, as throughout the season youth asked for more fresh vegetables to bring with them for lunch and snacks. Almost daily the salad bar has been supplemented by something freshly picked, and when the recognition feast ran out of greens they were quickly replaced by another tray of Laraway’s own. Between inspiring kids to discover new flavors and varieties of garden plants and amply providing for a kitchen experimenting with healthy recipes, the garden at Laraway has done a lot for healthy futures.

VYDC Accomplishments: About

2013-2014 Service Year

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Stories from the members:

VYDC Member at Essex CHIPS, Essex, VT

During our Summer Volunteer Crew projects, we had two high schoolers and two  rising 9th graders participating.  It was wonderful to see these kids getting to know one another, and talking about the high school experience.  The high schoolers were very encouraging toward the younger teens, who had some anxieties about beginning high school.  Watching the teens connect was gratifying for me: not only were they participating in community service, but they were helping one another.

VYDC Member at Franklin Grand Isle Bookmobile, Swanton, VT
I have begun a new afterschool curriculum- Storytelling. During the first class, I noticed one little girl was suddenly quiet, and when I looked she had tears in her eyes. After she learned that we would be taking turns telling stories, she became nervous and overwhelmed. I explained to her that speaking in front of the group was voluntary and that there would be no pressure to take a turn. She then relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the class. The group had fun-- they were downright goofy The next week, the shy girl brought props from home (knowing that she was going to have story time in the afternoon!) and took a turn telling a story with a friend. I was impressed that I didn’t even have to ask her to participate, she felt comfortable enough to step forward on her own.

VYDC Accomplishments: About

2012-2013 Service Year

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Stories from the members:

VYDC Member at Willowell Foundation, Monkton, VT

Part of our organizational mission is to bring youth into the outdoors to expand their comfort level with the natural world, build self-confidence, and foster a sense of environmental responsibility.  We met all those objectives during a field trip we hosted in October for 41 3rd-grade students from Vergennes Union Elementary.  The theme of their literacy unit this year is “A Place of My Own,” reading about finding a place in nature.  For the field trip, students arrived excited to build their own debris shelters out of fallen boughs and sticks, and to use flashlights to read inside them.  Once we set them loose to start building in small groups, it was incredible to see a small village appearing before my eyes—about 20 little debris huts appeared out of nothing in a matter of minutes.  When we brought the group back together and asked them to share about their building experience, almost every hand shot up right away.  By giving the students this freedom and space to use their bodies and their creativity, I saw that we created a learning experience that will go a long way to link “reading” and “trees” with “fun” in their minds.

VYDC Member at WCYSB Basement Teen Center, Montpelier, VT
One very special occasion at the Basement Teen Center this quarter was Thanksgiving.  For the first time we brought a long table into the teen center and had everyone sit down at the table together around a beautiful dinner created by all of the teens and staff.  Before eating, we went around the table and each said what we were thankful for that year.  The Basement Teen Center, was for many of the teens, what they were thankful for.  It truly made me recognize the importance of spaces like the Basement Teen Center to the youth of a community and what a difference having the support of the teen center and their peers that they gather with there could make in the lives of many teens.

VYDC Accomplishments: About
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