We believe young people change the world.
So, we make it our mission to help them do this by teaching young people personal responsibility through meaningful work that connects us to the land, community, and one another.
Our model is built off a national conservation Corps model that links the core methods of learning, service to community, and paying jobs for young people. Each year we pay over 250 young people (ages 15-26) to do hands-on work in farming and conservation projects via our small crews across the state of Vermont. These amazing experiences help develop each Corps Member’s leadership, teamwork, understanding and embrace of inclusion and equity, and larger professional skills.
We are unified in our vision of being #OneCorpsAllCorps, which unites our 6,000+ alumni, supporters, project partners, and amazing staff as one big team who are making Vermont a great place to live, work, and explore.
Learn more about VYCC as a non-profit 501(c)3, our fiscal health and history, including 990s and audited annual financial statements here.
Our values as a Corps are:Personal Responsibility – When we own our actions and step up to serve, we make ourselves and our communities healthy and strong.Diversity & Teamwork – Everyone’s contributions matter. We are strongest when VYCC represents all members of our community. Meaningful group work sparks enduring friendships.Leadership – Every Corps Member has leadership potential. Hard work, high standards, reflection, and structure are catalysts for personal growth and a lasting sense of agency.Education & Training – Learning is at the core of the Corps. Members develop technical skills, critical thinking, and self-awareness that ready them for a lifetime of learning, job success, and civic contributions.The Natural World – The outdoor experience feeds our souls and brings us together. Be it a working landscape, wild spaces, or town centers, we inspire reverence and ensure access for all.
Regardless of program, the model for a successful VYCC experience is consistent: small, diverse groups of young people working on significant projects. High expectations, hard work, and crew-oriented activities rich with educational experiences draw youth from a variety of backgrounds together to live, work, and recreate as a tight-knit community.
More than 6,000 young people have experienced VYCC’s programs across a 35-year history. VYCC alumni are leaders in state government and nonprofits; are teaching the next generation of young people; are caring for our environment in their professional and personal lives; and are engaged citizens that take personal responsibility for their actions. Programs are designed to help VYCC realize its vision of every generation committed to their community and the land.
“I’ve come to appreciate hard work, dirty hands and sore muscles, as these stand as a testament to the things we create. I’ve been inspired to live more deliberately and fulfillingly – I want to make better use of my time and never cease in creating better relationships with the land and the people around it.”
Alyssa, VYCC Corps Member