Kellie’s 2011 Corps experience didn’t start off the way she hoped. While playing basketball during orientation (in Camp Friendship’s carpeted gym, she would emphasize) Kellie tore her ACL and ended up spending the first 6 months of her term at a desk job with the MN Department of Natural Resources. Instead of working outdoors, she was relearning how to walk as she did data entry, website development and wrote news releases. As she healed, she traveled to 23 state parks to take pictures of facilities for a reservation database.
In July, Kellie got to join the rest of her Three Rivers Crew. She remembers this time as a “blur of hard work” including invasive species management, streambank restoration, oak wilt management and prescribed burns. The hours were often long and strenuous on her still-healing knee. A few of the burns they managed lasted well into the night!
Despite the challenges, Conservation Corps helped bring Kellie to where she is today. Her term with the Corps inspired her to go back to school for Wildlife Biology. She loves animals of all kinds. Some of her favorite Corps memories included chasing snakes and identifying different species of frogs. Her first job out of college was back at Three Rivers working with their wildlife department. The skills she learned at Conservation Corps helped land her in that position and, eventually, back into a job with us.
As Recruitment Coordinator, Kellie helps place around 300 AmeriCorps members each year, creating relationships with other organizations, visiting schools, and posting on up to 500 job boards throughout the country. “Conservation Corps made me realize how important it is to me to work for an organization with a mission that I believe in. It makes the tough work easier.”