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Pearl's Story

Pearl

I came to the Mile High Youth Corps (MHYC) YouthBuild AmeriCorps program in Denver, Colorado, in hopes of turning my life around. I faced adversity from an early age. I dropped out of high school at 14 and ran away from home until I turned 18. After hearing YouthBuild AmeriCorps members speak about the differences they were making in their communities, I applied to MHYC and began my service in February 2018. I dedicated my time in the program to earning my high school equivalency, Nurse's Aide certificate, and Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, and reached those goals nearly three months early by working hard and earning independent service hours at food banks, community gardens, hospitals, and nonprofits on the weekend. I did this while upholding my responsibilities within the program to provide health and wellness services to low-income Denver residents. I then enrolled in college with a focus on nursing. I plan on being the first person in my family to obtain a Bachelor's degree. My experience was life changing. Since completing my service term, I continue to be involved with my YouthBuild program by serving on the MHYC Alumni Council and was recognized as an emerging leader by YouthBuild USA. I am enrolled in the Land Conservation “Summer of Service” AmeriCorps program at MHYC serving on an all-women identifying crew working to build and maintain trails and remove invasive plant species to better preserve local wildlands. I serve on the Colorado State Youth Council, the Native American Commission, and the Mayor's Youth Commission. AmeriCorps gave me the confidence I needed to begin acting on the issues I want to change. I was able to turn everything I had been through into something worth living for.