WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amanda Wheeler of Mechanic Falls was sworn into the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps on Oct. 29.

David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, was the keynote speaker and led the inductees in the AmeriCorps pledge.

Wheeler arrived in Washington in early October after being selected from thousands of applicants to join a group of young people, ages 18 to 24, in the 10-month national service program committed to meeting community needs.

Inspired by the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, AmeriCorps*NCC members complete service projects in areas of the environment, education, public safety/homeland security, disaster relief and unmet human needs. Newly inducted corps members began their first project Nov. 1.

AmeriCorps*NCC members are assigned to one of five campuses located in the United States and complete 1,700 hours of community service throughout their 10-month term.

Wheeler joins 137 other AmeriCorps*NCC members and 17 team leaders who will complete their service at the Capital Region Campus located in Washington. The Capital Region serves communities in the District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Wheeler’s first project is working in Lancaster, Pa., with the Lancaster County Conservancy to protect natural lands and open space in the area for the health of the ecosystem, and enjoyment of the public. The team is working to restore 173 acres of globally rare plants called serpentine at the Rock Springs Nature Preserve.

Once the project is completed, Wheeler will move on to trail maintenance work at Tucquan Glen, and improve approximately one half mile of a trail in Lancaster County by clearing brush, trees and rocks. The two projects combined will last approximately seven weeks.

In exchange for their service, corps members receive $4,725 to help pay for college or repay student loans. AmeriCorps is administered by the Corp. for National and Community Service. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply now. Many programs have no upper age limit. For more information, visit www.americorps.org or call 1-800-942-2677.

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