The AmeriCorps NCCC River 7 Team & Community Outreach

Team pic

AmeriCorps NCCC River 7 Team with Southwest Memphis homeowner.

Today starts our final week of eight with the AmeriCorps NCCC River 7 Team at the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa.  River 7 is the third AmeriCorps NCCC Team our Museum has hosted since 2012.  The three teams have operated in a unique partnership with the C.H. Nash Museum, the Westwood Neighborhood Association, and the T.O. Fuller State Park.  The Team worked in the Westwood neighborhood with elderly homeowners to help with landscaping and structural repairs.  At T.O. Fuller State Park the Team planted over 1000 trees and installed signage along the six miles of trail.  At the C.H. Nash Museum, the Team helped reconfigure the museum’s library and repository and completed the refurbishment of a residential facility that will house future community service teams.  The AmeriCorps NCCC River 7 Team also worked with employees from the newly constructed Electrolux plant who volunteered and provided economic support for the home repair projects in Westwood.  Click here for additional information about the River 7 Team.

The AmeriCorps NCCC exemplifies the very positive role that millennials play in our country today.  AmeriCorps partnerships with museums allow cultural institutions to live into one of their defining principles set forth by the International Council of Museums as “. . . institutions in the service of society and of its development.”

As the AmeriCorps NCCC River 7 Team gets ready to leave Memphis and head for their next eight-week round in West Virginia, I asked the nine Team Members and their Team Leader to explain why they joined AmeriCorps NCCC.  Here are their responses.


William Custus (left) and Corbin Beastrom (right)

My name is William Custus. I am 22 yrs old. I’m originally from Baltimore Maryland but I now live in Washington DC. I joined AmeriCorps NCCC on February 11th 2013. The reason I joined AmeriCorps is because I believe in making a difference in people’s lives, and shaping communities to become safer, smarter, and healthier.

Corbin Beastrom is a former college student from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After three years in academia, he dropped out of a world defined by in-class essays, titular student government, and DC internships to embark on what he refers to as, “his first sabbatical.” Following graduation from AmeriCorps NCCC Corbin plans to lead a nomadic lifestyle comprised of graduate school, organic farming, and coffee.

Kaneesha and KT

Kaneesha Frazier (left) and KT Ainsworth (right) get their first taste of crawfish at St. John’s Episcopal church in Memphis.

My name is KT Ainsworth and I am 18 years old and from Bend, Oregon. During my junior year of high school, my dad received a heart and kidney transplant. The community took time out of their busy lives to help my family and make sure my siblings and I were cared for. Seeing just how much a community of people were able to positively affect a family’s life made me want to carry the kindness forward. That is why I joined AmeriCorps NCCC. Seeing the difference my team makes every single day is what pushes me to keep going. I love what I do and who I do it for.

My name is Kaneesha Frazier and I am from Columbus, Ohio.  I joined AmeriCorps NCCC to help strengthen communities. I heard about AmeriCorps NCCC from my school Youth Build in Columbus and I plan to continue my college education in criminal justice upon completion of the NCCC program.


Bobbie Jean Keller (left) and Raymond Smith (right)

My name is Bobbie Keller, I am 19 years old and before AmeriCorps NCCC I lived in Long Beach, Mississippi. I was affected by hurricane Katrina in 2005 and ever since then I have had a desire to pay it forward. AmeriCorps NCCC is the perfect program for me, I get to travel and volunteer.

Hello my name is Raymond Smith. I am 19 years old and from Chicago Illinois. I joined AmeriCorps NCCC in February 2013. I joined because I heard that there was a program that helps communities in need and respond to disasters. I have a passion for helping others and to see that it makes me happy. I also joined to help change and decrease the crime rate by getting out into the communities setting an example for others so our world could become a better place.


John Cipollo (left) and James Burks (right)

My name is John Cipollo. I am 23 years old and I am from Bristol, Connecticut. I joined AmeriCorps NCCC because I wanted to give back to the community.

I am James Burks.  Well my reason for attending AmeriCorps NCCC was to help others and at the same time better myself. I also was interested in the traveling to see and visit different places. I was born in Chicago, Illinois but moved to Park Forest, Illinois. I have other sisters and a brother, but I am the youngest of them all. I wanted to venture off and see what I can do with my life. I like all kinds of sports.  I am 20 years old and I like to chill and have fun. I want to make a difference in our community and I plan to try my best to do that.


John Hamburger (left) and Robert Gurley, President of the Westwood Neighborhood Association with Ana Rea, Team Leader for River 7 (right)

My full name is John Dale Hamburger III, and I am originally from Grand Island, Nebraska but for the past two years I have lived in Chadron, Nebraska going to Pine Ridge Job Corps. The reason I have come to AmeriCorps NCCC is due to the opportunity I have been presented to help others like when I was in Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at Grand Island Senior High school. I feel great helping others and when something like AmeriCorps NCCC presented itself to me, I just couldn’t give it up so easily. Also cause I have always wanted to travel to other places and get to know others. Plus I can’t lie – I also did it for the College opportunity and I wanted to make a difference in my family by being the first person out of both sides of my family to finish a four-year college.

My name is Ana Rea and I was raised and had lived in Greenville, TX since the age of 9 and had never left my small town until I joined AmeriCorps NCCC. After attending Texas A&M-Commerce for a year I decided to take a break and really discover what it was that I wanted to do with my future.  I am currently serving in my second year of AmeriCorps NCCC Southern Region as a  Team Leader for River 7 and so far, I have been privileged enough to serve in the states of Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. I plan on continuing the path of service to others with an open mind and learning something new every day.

You can contact the AmeriCorps NCCC River 7 Team at –

  3 comments for “The AmeriCorps NCCC River 7 Team & Community Outreach

  1. May 15, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Reblogged this on Chucalissa e-Anumpoli and commented:
    Check out Dr. Connolly’s latest blog post on our fantastic Americorps team!

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