The Impact of a Drop of Water

Welcome to our monthly newsletter!  As the CEO of the Orange County Conservation Corps, I have the honor of leading a community-based non-profit organization that enrolls remarkable young men and women looking to make a significant difference in their lives.

You see, these at-risk young adults that join our program (“CorpsMembers”) make a determined effort to show up every day to receive paid, on-the-job training on environmentally-related projects like habitat restoration or recycling.  They also attend our on-site charter school to work towards their high school diploma, as most left school before achieving this important accomplishment.

An analogy can be drawn between consistent daily attendance and drops of water that fall into a cup of tea.  Each day we show up ready to work is like a drop of water added to a cup of tea.  Over time, the cup fills; with continued effort, it eventually overflows.  Yet still we work, and learn, and drops of water fall into our cup of tea.  As the cup overflows, the liquid solution within gradually becomes clearer and clearer.  A drop of water, a drop of water, a drop of water… In time, the cup is filled with a clear solution.

And so it is with our perception of our own personal direction: through consistent daily effort to work, learn, and serve, we gain tremendous clarity about our future and our personal mission.

For example, there are currently two young men, brothers, that enrolled in the Orange County Conservation Corps program in early 2009.  Their lives involved drugs, gangs and other barriers to success, and both had left high school before achieving their high school diploma.  Yet since enrolling, neither one has missed a day of work or school.  Such an achievement was recognized by the Orange County Conservation Corps after the Lopez brothers, Julio Caesar and Edward, reached the one-year mark of perfect attendance (click here for more info).  In fact, because of this remarkable accomplishment, an award for one-year of perfect attendance was named after these two reliable gentlemen – “The Lopez Award.”  To date, only one other CorpsMember has earned this award.

Since enrolling at the OCCC, Julio & Edward have both received the Student of the Month award. Both have become certified in chainsaw safety & operation and First Aid/CPR (although one should never have anything to do with the other).  In December 2010, Julio graduated with his high school diploma, and Edward is on-track to receive his diploma by the time you read this.    A drop of water, a drop of water, a drop of water…

If you or someone you know needs paid job-training, perhaps a high school diploma, development of a competitive work ethic, or a sense of belonging, please contact us at 1.714.956.6222.  If you are the one seeking these opportunities, I look forward to meeting you soon.


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