The NYC Civic Corps, an AmeriCorps program run by NYC Service, unites a diverse group of professionals to serve full-time with partner organizations, working to increase their organizational capacity to engage volunteers and build sustainable volunteer initiatives. NYC Civic Corps members are assigned to partner organizations for 10 months of full-time service and charged with recruiting, training and managing volunteers. The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are excited to have been selected as a partner site for the 2014-2015 year. We are happy to welcome Dominick Lopez and Melannie Martinez to the Friends. Dominick and Melannie will be spending the next few weeks learning about the Friends various programs before taking on a leadership role in some of the programs- such as our Environmental Internship program, Van Cortlandt Adventures and our volunteer garden and forest restoration programs.
In their own words, Dominick and Melanie would like to introduce themselves:
Dominick Lopez: “I was born in Washington Heights and raised in the Bronx. I am the youngest of five in my family. My favorite genre of books are history, historical fiction, and plays. In May 2014, I graduated from Lehman College with a Bachelor of Science in Health Education & Promotion. While studying at Lehman, I completed an internship with the Community Outreach & Health Education department at Lincoln Hospital. This experience, along with my time working with children at Catholic Charities Community Services, led to my interest in applying to the NYC Civic Corps program-a program that is centered around community service.”
I have a passion for helping others in the community from all age groups-children, adults, and senior citizens. Working with the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park is something I am really excited about, because of their commitment to helping the environment. I am especially excited about the opportunity to work at the garden and compost site at Van Cortlandt Park. I also am looking forward to helping to run the FVCP Youth Run Farm Stands.
Melannie Martinez: “Having recently graduated from Lehman College with a Bachelor in Environmental Science I had no idea what I was going to do next or even how I would ever find a job related to my field within the next couple of months. After receiving an email with information about the NYC Civic Corps program I decided to apply and test my luck. Having just ended my year as a CUNY Service Corp member I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to continue engaging within the community and pursuing my passion towards community development and improvement. To my surprise, I was chosen as a Civic Corps member and around the same time I was chosen as a scholarship recipient to pursue my Masters in Science Education.
Environmental Education is one of my many passions and through my placement in the Friends of Van Cortland Park I have been given the opportunity to have hands on experience in the educational field and at the same time acquire field experience through park restoration projects and volunteer hikes. I am very excited to be part of the Friends and I am looking forward to Bringing youth, community and nature together!”