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Executive Director Update

Published September 7th, 2020 in Administration, UW Blogs

Executive Director Update…Kasey Hovik

Over the last 9 years, Umpqua Watersheds has hosted eight AmeriCorps superheroes. Young people who have travelled across the country to work for less than minimum wage to provide environmental education and support the mission of our organization. Each service member added their own, unique and considerable abilities to make a difference in the lives of young people in our community as well as those fortunate enough to work with them. Three of our AmeriCorps service members chose to serve 2 years with us, Roland Wang, Katrina Keleher and Christine Smith. Two others chose to serve their 2nd year with Umpqua Watersheds after serving at other program sites their first year, Maris Wilson and Ryan Kincaid.

It has been my great privilege to serve as a mentor/supervisor for eight of the nine members we have hosted as well as leading the effort to recruit them to come be a part of our community. Each member holds a special in my heart. Collectively, they have made a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of young people in Douglas County. Many of the students they taught have decided to move on to pursue educational and professional roles in the field of environmental stewardship because of the impact our program had as a direct result of our AmeriCorps members.

We are very fortunate to partner with one of the premier AmeriCorps programs in the country, United Communities AmeriCorps. They write the grant that supports the program and provide constant support and training for their members and host sites. The cost to support our AmeriCorps members is split 50/50 between UCAN and the host site. Over the years, the cost to Umpqua Watersheds to host an AmeriCorps member has averaged about $5 per hour! This year, our in-kind contribution to the program will be $8,750 for the 1,700 hours they will serve with our organization which comes out to $5.15 per hour! One of the primary goals of the AmeriCorps program is to help alleviate poverty in the communities they serve. Part of the challenge they face is to live in poverty during the course of their service.

Mike Rooney 2011-12
Roland Wang 2012-2014
Katrina Keleher 2014-16
Bailey Stein 2016-17
Christine Smith 2017-2019
Maris Wilson 2018-19
Robyn Bath-Rosenfeld 2019-2020
Ryan Kincaid 2020-21

The challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic have caused us to cancel two of our main fundraising events that provide support for our AmeriCorps program, the Annual Banquet and Silent Auction in April and the Umpqua Brew Fest in October. As we did with the Banquet, we will be having a virtual event this year to raise support and awareness for our AmeriCorps program. On the day we had scheduled the 11th annual Umpqua Brew Fest 10/10/2020 we will host a virtual event highlighting the accomplishments of our AmeriCorps program featuring a Zoom conference with all of those who have served or are serving as our AmeriCorps superheroes to see what they are doing now and to talk about their experiences in the program. We will also be showing a slideshow capturing moments in time of their service with Umpqua Watersheds. The official campaign to raise funds for our AmeriCorps program will run through October 15th. Please consider donating to support our AmeriCorps program and the amazing work it is doing for Umpqua Watersheds and our community.

 

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