I met Cyntya Uriegas in 2016 during our AmeriCorps NCCC service year, where Cyntya was one of the cool kids on a specially trained wildland firefighting team.
After that she eventually landed on a small island off the coast of Boston. There she spent about a year working with Outward Bound helping inner city kids build life confidence in the great outdoors.
Her “kiddos” taught her many surprisingly deep lessons while they worked and played together on the island – about overcoming fears, gratitude, and the power of community.
Toward the end of the show, Cyntya gives us the rundown on how her unusual life experiences of the last few years prepared her for her biggest adventure yet – a year-long mission trip with The World Race.
For anybody who loves a good calling story, this is one you’ll want to hear. You just never know where life will take you!
Learn more about Outward Bound and Thompson Island here: https://thompsonisland.org/
Hear more from Cyntya and support her mission trip here: https://cyntyauriegas.theworldrace.org/
“It was a smack in the face, but in a good way. I’d never been out of the country, and I was going to a place with so much poverty, but so much kindness. This country—I felt it open its arms and embrace me.”
Shauna Riddensdale is something of a serial adventurer—at age 18 she completed a 10-month service year with AmeriCorps NCCC and has not stopped exploring. She’s since hiked the Appalachian trail, traveled the country in a van, and even spent time abroad in Nepal as a disaster relief worker.
For two months, Shauna lived in a tent city with a hundred other All Hands and Hearts volunteers while rebuilding a school after an earthquake. She shares what it was like to eat Nepali momo and dal bhat with villagers, build relationships with traveling volunteers of all ages, and explore the Himalayan countryside after her service.
Shauna wholeheartedly recommends All Hands and Hearts for those interested in both travel and disaster relief volunteering. Go to Allhandsandhearts.org to apply!
At age 20, fresh out of training with AmeriCorps NCCC, Devin Mott helped set up two disaster relief warehouses in response to devastating floods in Louisiana and tornadoes in Georgia.
· He shares what it was like being dispatched overnight to disaster zones on just hours’ notice and waking up to scenes of devastation
· Mucking and gutting houses overrun with mold in Louisiana and clearing tornado debris in Georgia
· Sleeping on cots in crowded shelters and showering in trailers
· And learning how to operate a forklift and run security to keep relief supplies flowing.
Devin also tells us why it’s important to be kind to volunteers during any crisis, who are undergoing a tremendous amount of stress to help the rest of us; why you should carefully consider what sorts of goods you donate in the aftermath of a disaster; and what it means to rise to the occasion, put our own discomfort aside, and step in to help others if we can.
“It’s a stressful work environment . . . but without a question I would do it again, because someone needs to do it. Someone needs to be the guy that says, ‘Hey, I got the time. Hey, I got the ability to make other people's lives a little easier.”
Download the episode on Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Anchor.com
For more info on AmeriCorps NCCC: www.nationalservice.gov
For more info on the Adventist Community Services Disaster Relief team and disaster warehousing: http://www.communityservices.org/disaster-response
Autumn’s service year with AmeriCorps NCCC was the hardest, worst, and best thing she ever did. She shares what it was like to travel the country for ten months with a team of nine 18-24-year-olds, cleaning up after disasters, revitalizing neighborhoods and surviving gator infested waters while basically living out of a suitcase with AmeriCorps NCCC.
“… it was something that was so wild, so adventurous, so unique, and it was with people that at this point I had just spent nine months with, and we all just had this experience that we were all going to remember for the rest of our lives."
For more info on AmeriCorps NCCC or to apply go to: www.Nationalservice.gov
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How can you travel the world without leaving America? By spending time with refugees in your own city.
Emma Eagen is a full-time pre-med student and part-time AmeriCorps volunteer at Rochester Refugee Sewing and Repair, a small nonprofit manufacturer that employs former United Nations refugees in Upstate New York.
When she's not studying to become a global health pediatrician, Emma spends upwards of twenty hours a week helping run the shop, which has converted all of its operations to make facemasks for healthcare professionals fighting the Corona virus.
In this episode, Emma shares some powerful lessons she's learned from working with the women at Rochester Refugee.
Rochester Refugee GoFundme: https://www.gofundme.com/f/rochester-refugee-cloth-masks-for-covid
Flower City AmeriCorps: https://www.cityofrochester.gov/americorps/