We’d like to congratulate the AmeriCorps teams we’ve had the pleasure of hosting this year on their recent graduation from the program!

For the past two years, Hope City and North Coast Opportunities, Inc. have been program sponsors for AmeriCorps teams from the Pacific Region. This program provides a ten month service opportunity for young people ages 18-24 as they work with non-profit organizations across the region. This year, we hosted three teams at the Hope City Dorm in Middletown. CEO Kevin Cox was selected as a graduation speaker.

“Are you the same person you were ten months ago?” The question was posed by Hope City CEO, Kevin Cox, as he addressed 400 AmeriCorps graduates. “You’ve learned to share your meals, your work, your space. You’ve learned to work as teammates with diverse strangers who came together to serve.” Cox urged the graduates to continue their service, even as they headed off in many different directions. Some will return home, some are off to higher education, some taking a small vacation, but all of them leaving behind a program that emphasizes teamwork, perseverance and dedication.

Our AmeriCorps teams worked on a wide variety of tasks while in Middletown. Each team stayed for at least 8 weeks. They worked on Hope City projects, completing building tasks from foundation work, to installing insulation and water lines. They cleared properties and moved downed trees. Our most recent team assisted in our Inspiring Hope Shed Build and helped prepare and build 100 sheds in one day! The team members also worked each week with Tammy Alakszay of North Coast Opportunities distributing food through the local food pantry and staffing the Friday Free Produce distributions. In addition they provided service help to other local organizations and participated in local events like the Cancer Walk, Middletown Days, and Christmas in Middletown.

There are so many moments from the past year we’ll cherish, but we’d like to share a few of our favorites. We celebrated a home dedication, it’s always beautiful when we can hand over the keys to one of our homeowners. When we visited the Redwoods, where we enjoyed a picnic under the amazing trees at Armstrong Park. All the team orientations, where we tackled learning names and warming everyone up to Kevin’s sense of humor. The times we’d travel to San Francisco, and take a team picture from the bluffs looking down on the Golden Gate Bridge with the city in the background. More than anything though, watching the teams tackle difficult problems, and rising to meet the challenge.

Hope City and NCO sponsor the teams because our staff believes in training young people and helping them reach outside their comfort zones to serve and help in their communities.

We consider it a privilege to be part of their lives during their time in Middletown. Being a part of graduation, celebrating their hard work and sending them off to a new adventure is a great part of our work.

Thank you to the men and women who served in Lake County this year! You have been a blessing to this community! Visit anytime!