Every year, YouthBuild USA celebrates and recognizes exceptional members of its programs for their dedication to service and impact on their community. Youth Conservation Corps is proud to announce that Julian Rivera that has received the YouthBuild USA Member of the Year Award!
Julian came to our program as a way to better himself and get help on a pathway for the future. In his words, he said that he needed “something to push my legs forward.” Julian felt as though he didn’t know what he was going to do with his life but knew that he needed help along the way. School was challenging for him and he wasn’t sure that he would be able to tackle that again. Julian enjoys working with his hands and was interested in learning the plumbing trade. This is what brought him to Youth Conservation Corps.
In His Own Words
Dedication to Service
During his time in our program Julian loved to do physical work and organize things. He said that any time he sees a mess, he likes to clean it up! Julian participated in an ongoing project that Youth Conservation Corps has with the city of Waukegan called Operation Clean Sweep. This project is done every Friday from June through October. YCC members go to different areas within the city of Waukegan and clear brush, clean up trash and remove debris from alleyways, parks and beaches. Julian was a very enthusiastic member of this project. He actively jumped into each of the projects and kept a positive attitude throughout the day.
Julian helped with the development and maintenance of the YCC community garden. He helped to decide what to plant and helps to care for the many planter boxes around our building each day. There were many opportunities to fix broken boards on the boxes, clear our invasive weeds and plant seeds in strategic places to ensure positive growth. Julian took a lot of pride in these boxes and is proactive in ensuring that they are well-cared for.
Julian brought such positive energy to the program. He showed up early and had excellent attendance. He threw all of his energy into any activity and since attending YCC, he became more vocal and confident in his skills. He has set his sights on goals that he wants to achieve and is working steadily towards them. Julian embodies the spirit of service at Youth Conservation Corps in his demeanor and his enthusiasm for any project in which he participates. He stepped up as a leader, even when he didn’t necessarily see himself as a leader when he started at YCC. He spurred others forward in what they are doing and his enthusiasm carried through to others. Julian understood how his participation is making a difference and is becoming empowered.