VINTON, Iowa – John Warren, originally from Newark, New Jersey, has joined 220 other individuals from across the United States in Vinton, Iowa, where they are devoting the next 10 months to giving back to communities in the North Central Region of the United States.

Warren has been serving with the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), an AmeriCorps program, since Feb. 5, 2013. Since arriving, Warren and the other members have gone through an intensive training to prepare them for serving in communities. This four-week training period emphasized teamwork, leadership development, communication, diversity and service learning. During this time, members were also assigned to one of 20 teams. Each team serves on average on four-seven projects during their term of service with NCCC.

On March 8, 2013, NCCC members completed their training and were officially inducted into the AmeriCorps NCCC program with the ceremony being held at Vinton-Shellsburg High School Auditorium. On Monday, March 11, NCCC teams left Vinton to begin serving on their first NCCC service project.

Warren and his team are serving with Rydell and Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge in Erskine, Minn. until April 25. On this project, the team is assisting Rydell and Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge with prescribed burning, invasive species removal, biological surveys for water fowl and prairie chickens, trail clearing, and tree planting. In addition, the team is assisting in the installation of four accessible blinds to allow visitors to view the wildlife.

Prior to joining NCCC, Warren graduated from Youthbuild Newark in August 2011. Warren joined NCCC because he believes it will allow him to change many lives.

AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, residential, national service program in which 1,100 young adults serve nationwide each year. During their 10-month term, NCCC Members – all 18 to 24 years old – work on teams of eight to 12 on projects that address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. Members mentor students, construct and rehabilitate low-income housing, respond to natural disasters, clean up streams, help communities develop emergency plans, and address countless other local needs. The North Central Region campus in Vinton, Iowa is one of five regional campuses in the United States and serves Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The other campuses are located in Perry Point, Md.; Sacramento, Calif.; Vicksburg, Miss.; and Denver, Colo.

In exchange for their service, NCCC Members receive $5,550 to help pay for college, or to pay back existing student loans. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, leadership development, increased self-confidence, and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, people can indeed make a difference. AmeriCorps NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Corporation improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at www.americorps.gov/nccc.