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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TCC student helping revitalize areas

Former TCC student Nathan Hulcy relaxes with his fellow workers at his AmeriCorps site in Louisiana. Hulcy said he joined the program to help him find direction in life after completing one semester at TCC.  Photo courtesy Nathan Hulcy
Former TCC student Nathan Hulcy relaxes with his fellow workers at his AmeriCorps site in Louisiana. Hulcy said he joined the program to help him find direction in life after completing one semester at TCC. Photo courtesy Nathan Hulcy

By Sharon Murra-Kapon/south news editor

Former TCC student Nathan Hulcy relaxes with his fellow workers at his AmeriCorps site in Louisiana. Hulcy said he joined the program to help him find direction in life after completing one semester at TCC.  Photo courtesy Nathan Hulcy
Former TCC student Nathan Hulcy relaxes with his fellow workers at his AmeriCorps site in Louisiana. Hulcy said he joined the program to help him find direction in life after completing one semester at TCC. Photo courtesy Nathan Hulcy

Undecided about which direction to take his studies, Nathan Hulcy attended TCC for only one semester.

Hulcy knew he liked helping people and had the ability for construction work, so he started searching for programs where he could use his skills.

A Web site introduced Hulcy to AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, a full-time, team-based residential program for men and women to assist in rebuilding disaster zones.

The organization’s mission is to strengthen communities and develop leaders through direct, team-based national and community service.

AmeriCorps offered the 19-year-old a place to live, health coverage, $12 a day for basic needs and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award—a $4,725 scholarship he will receive at the end of the 10-month program. By that time, he will know his life’s direction.

Hulcy said the main thing that attracted him to this program was working with disaster relief in zones hit by hurricanes Rita and Katrina.

“I feel like I am able to do this, and I wanted to make a difference,” he said.

The most significant experience for Hulcy is giving back to America and helping rebuild the coast.

“ People need help,” he said. “It will take from 10-15 years before the coast is completely recovered.”

Hulcy’s team leader, Maggie Downing, said although it is tough work, long hours and heart breaking at times, Hulcy is a great asset and makes everyone smile.

“ Our team is like a family,” she said. “Not only do we work with the organization, but we love and care about each other and work to keep ourselves united.”

Hulcy said his gratitude has grown over the past months and he feels more compassion for people. He said he did not know what devastation meant until he arrived in Mississippi.

In addition to all the benefits he obtained from AmeriCorps, Hulcy said he has made an impact on his family and friends.

“ They are all very proud of me,” he said. “They love what I am doing for the country.”

Elena Velkov, media support team leader from AmeriCorps recommends the program to college students still trying to figure out what they want to do.

“The program provides adventure to students before they settle down and gives them the opportunity to meet great people,” she said.

Velkov said AmeriCorps is very rewarding work, and volunteers get a satisfaction they could have missed in a year of possible frustration.

The eligibility to join AmeriCorps varies from program to program. However, a person must be 18 or older, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, a team-oriented person and able to work well in a structured environment.

Happy he took the opportunity of a lifetime, Hulcy said his 10 teammates will be his friends for life.
Hulcy said he had a message for TCC students.

“ The program is a great life experience, a great resume builder and a great place to learn,” he said.

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