“Everything started with CCM,” says Emma Bixler, 2011 Summer Youth Corps alumni. As crew leaders with Summer Youth Corps, Emma and Sachiko Flores never worked together directly while in SYC. However, they had similar friends and experiences which eventually brought them to where they are now, spending almost every moment together planning their startup, CorpsTHAT.
CorpsTHAT provides organizational support for the inclusion of Deaf and Hard of Hearing participants in outdoor programs. Both Emma and Sachiko are inspired to connect the deaf and hearing world through outdoor experience by providing more support and resources within the conservation field. Their hope is to inspire more ASL inclusion crews to thrive in Corps throughout the country and expand opportunities and options for deaf people in the outdoor world. This could mean anything from hosting environmental learning trips with students and interpreters to starting a school! For now, they are focusing on offering trainings and recruitment services to existing programs like the Corps.
While serving with Conservation Corps in 2011, Sachiko and Emma noticed a spark within themselves. “Without CCM, we wouldn’t truly know who we are and what we can do,” said Sachiko. They describe their experience with the Corps as ‘magic’ and want to spread that magic as far as they can.