|Jillian Stokes stands behind Dan Heimbigner|
The answer was easy.
What sets the SMC apart from most other trails organizations is that we engage so many young people into our programs. We so much appreciate every volunteer who takes the initiative to sign up and the courage to show up, but the majority of our volunteers are not eligible for the Denny's discount, and they won't be anytime soon.
This year Southern Oregon University students put in over 1200 trail hours. If you include recent alumni and students from other schools, it goes to somewhere around 2000 hours.
Engaging young people is a key component of the SMC's strategy, because the need for heavy Wilderness trail maintenance in southwest Oregon isn't going anywhere anytime soon. And there is no abundance of unique, no-cost, life changing work programs like ours, either.
So we're excited to keep putting young people to work into the woods, and engaging younger and younger audiences. Moreover, we're so proud that since we started in 2010, our volunteers demonstrate an increased rate of employment after participating in extended work trips.
This is where some of our volunteers are now working.
- Seth Swan, 2010, Amtrak
- Stefani Gissel, 2011, Trailside Discovery Camp
- Daisy Moser, 2011, Sunstone Bakery
- Josh Pfefferkorn, 2010-2011, Bridge City Cycles
- Caleb Howe, 2011, YMCA
- Dan Heimbigner, 2010, Whatcom Environmental Services
- Kris Freitag, 2010, Berry Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Program
- Em Halleen, 2011, Red and Black Cafe
- Brianna Peaslee, 2011, Art4Life
- Sarah Goodchild Robb, 2010-2011, Bard High School Early College
We can't wait to see what our 2012 volunteers will be up to next year!