Lewis Cuthair, of Towaoc, is one of 160 men and women pledging to perform 10 months of national service as part of the Atlantic Region’s 19th Class of the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), an AmeriCorps program.
As a Corps member, Cuthair will spend 10 months getting things done for America while strengthening communities and developing his leadership. Cuthair and his team will work on a variety of projects focusing on environmental stewardship, infrastructure improvement, urban and rural development, energy conservation and disaster relief. He may work with such organizations as Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross and The Nature Conservancy.
Cuthair’s team is working with The FARM Institute in Edgartown, Mass., to improve the capacity of the nonprofit’s working farm to enable the teaching of more children and adults in sustainable agriculture. For the next 4½ weeks, eight NCCC members will be working hard building and renovating the farm in order to fulfill its purpose.
The team, Raven 2, will help accomplish The FARM Institute’s mission, which addresses educating and engaging children and adults in sustainable agriculture through the diverse operations of a 162-acre working farm. During its 4½-year term, the team aims to complete the construction of the Elwell Solar Greenhouse attached to the main building, renovate summer classrooms and animal stalls, rebuild animal pens, prepare planting beds and much more.
“NCCC teams like Raven 2 help us to accomplish tasks we haven’t got time to do,” said Sidney Morris, volunteer manager of The FARM Institute.
“I heard about AmeriCorps NCCC just as I was about to graduate from Box Elder Job Corps located in Nemo, S.D.,” Cuthair said.
After his 10-month stint, Cuthair will graduate from NCCC on November 14, 2013, with an education award of $5,550, which can be used to continue education or pay back student loans.
“I would like to experience first-hand what it means to give back to a different community,” said Cuthair about his motivation to serve.
The Raven 2 team is based in Perry Point, Md., but consists of members from around the country. In addition to working with The FARM Institute, members of the team will be searching for other volunteer opportunities around Martha’s Vineyard in hopes to further the good its nonprofits provide to its island communities.