Labor and Economic Opportunity
As a second-year Huron Pines AmeriCorps member, Samantha Peterson has demonstrated great initiative in developing new and innovative ways to serve her host site. Samantha serves with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) at the Pigeon River Country State Forest, located in Otsego County, northeast of Gaylord.
The Huron Pines AmeriCorps program has been developing leaders in conservation in communities across Michigan since 2007. Huron Pines AmeriCorps members strive to enhance Michigan’s natural resources and foster environmental stewardship by engaging local volunteers, community groups, and schools in service projects, hands-on learning opportunities, and educational workshops. The program places college graduates for a 10-month term of full-time volunteer service with conservation organizations across Michigan.
One of Samantha’s responsibilities is to develop and deliver educational programs for the Pigeon River Country Discovery Center, a place of historical and natural resource exploration. In her two years of service she has shared natural resource education with hundreds of people, has led numerous volunteer events, and coordinated natural resource projects like native plantings, invasive species removal, and trail building.
Samantha has shown tremendous leadership in her time with the program and was selected to represent Huron Pines AmeriCorps as their LeaderCorps member. The Michigan’s AmeriCorps LeaderCorps includes one representative from each AmeriCorps program, who serves as a liaison between their program and the Michigan Community Service Commission.
“Samantha has embraced this opportunity and excelled in her role as our LeaderCorps representative,” stated interim program director Jennie Zoll. “She has really stepped up during the Coronavirus pandemic and been a leader to the other members of our group. She sends weekly inspirational emails to members, arranges weekly member virtual hangouts, and goes above and beyond to be supportive to all members and the service they are providing. Over the last two years, Samantha has honed her expertise and has the knowledge, confidence, and demeanor of a seasoned resource professional. She always has a positive attitude and tackles challenges head on. Samantha epitomizes the spirit of AmeriCorps through service to others and we are very proud she is part of Huron Pines AmeriCorps program.”