Changing the lives of young people since 1985
“Our son had just turned 17 and like many teenagers he was starting to feel an alienation that comes with the age; not still a child but not yet an adult…. He worked harder than he ever had in his life and loved every minute of it. He got to meet local leaders and benefactors…. The respect that he felt from them repaired his confidence and reminded him that everyone can make a positive difference in the community, regardless of age or past mistakes…. We experienced a profound and tangible change in our son after his participation in VYCC. He acknowledges that change too and is proud and happy and more confident because of it.” – Kim
Join us in supporting our most essential resource – young people.
Young people strive to make meaningful contributions and are capable of doing so when given the opportunity. For more than 30 years, these convictions have guided the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. VYCC changes the lives of participants, and in return, Corps Members make Vermont – and beyond – stronger, more resilient, and healthier.
Your gift today will help us serve more young people.
VYCC offers a progression of learning experiences to ‘meet youth where they are’ in their professional and personal development. We are proud to serve teens who have never had a job, held a tool, or been camping. Members have the option to join Day or Camping Crews, where they gain foundational workforce development and community-building skills. They complete projects such as building trails and growing vegetables that teach problem-solving, communication, and teamwork. For our youngest Members, these experiences are four to eight weeks over the summer.
Young adults ages 18 and older can join advanced crews, and/or become Crew Leaders. These experiences range from four weeks to six months, and build skills for Members with varying degrees of technical experience, leadership experience, and comfort with outdoor living. Our most advanced crews offer high-level and focused skill development: Park Restoration (carpentry), Forestry (including chainsaw certifications), and the Food & Farm Program’s Team Leads (nutrition & farm management).
VYCC serves youth who seek to overcome adversity, gain some grit, and enter adulthood as productive citizens. We serve college and college-bound students, as well as youth from low-income backgrounds who are not seeking higher education but are looking for opportunities to gain the skills and credentials to enter a variety of career sectors.
Participants gain essential skills including communication, perseverance, collaboration, and problem-solving. The result is an annual cohort of youth who take personal responsibility for their actions, steward the environment, contribute to community, and are better prepared to enter the workforce. The projects they complete along the way increase and improve recreational access and park facilities, improve the health of our watersheds, restore the health of wildlife habitat and forests, and reduce food-insecurity across the state.
Support from our donors is absolutely vital to ensure that VYCC can continue to make life-changing experiences available to young people.
You can make an immediate impact by making a gift online.
Learn more about our work and the individuals and organizations who support us in our most recent annual report.
Learn more about VYCC’s fiscal health and history, including 990s and audited annual financial statements on Guidestar.