Local grad serving in Americorps

NEW HAVEN — Sara Stearns of New Haven is currently serving with the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), a 10-month, full-time AmeriCorps program.
Despite the unprecedented challenges posed in 2020, dedicated citizens continue to help communities, serving those affected by COVID-19, ensuring students stay on track to graduate, combating hunger and homelessness, responding to natural disasters, fighting the opioid epidemic, helping seniors live independently, supporting veterans and military families, and much more.
AmeriCorps NCCC operates out of four campuses, which serve as regional administrative hubs and training facilities. train and deploy new classes of members several times each year. Stearns began her term of service on Oct. 7, 2020, at the Pacific Region campus in Sacramento, Calif., and will graduate from the program on July 14, 2021.
As a member, Stearns is completing a series of different six- to 12-week-long service projects in different places across her assigned region as part of a five- to 12-person team. Projects support disaster relief, the environment, infrastructure improvement, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. More information about her specific service projects is available upon request.

Before joining the NCCC, Stearns attended Vergennes Union High School and Castleton University, from which she graduated in May 2020 with a degree in Social Work and Sociology with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies and a certificate in Trauma Studies. Stearns also served with POD Volunteer in Udaipur, India during August 2018.
Stearns said, “I was looking for my next step after college. I read about AmeriCorps and felt like it was the perfect step for me: traveling around the country, volunteering, gaining experience, and working with a group of peers.

When I volunteered in India it was very rewarding and grounding work that opened my eyes in unimaginable ways. I feel like serving in AmeriCorps and doing a term of national service will not only benefit myself and my future, but also benefit my greater communities, my country.”
AmeriCorps NCCC members complete at least 1,700 hours of service during the 10-month program. Members are all 18 to 26 years old; there is no upper age limit for Team Leaders. In exchange for their service, all program participants receive $6,345 to help pay for college. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, leadership development, team-building skills, and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, they can indeed make a difference. AmeriCorps NCCC is one of hundreds of programs administered by the larger AmeriCorps agency. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at


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