As winter comes to a halt, we’ve been enjoying the color green and glimpses of wildflowers growing in the hills. Here in Coyote Canyon, we’ve also been enjoying the presence of sixteen new and passionate AmeriCorps members serving for the summer months in our 27th AmeriCorps cohort. These individuals will be serving a combined 7,200 hours within the Teton Science Schools and Jackson communities. Coming from 11 states across the country, these individuals bring diverse experiences to this community. With backgrounds in criminal justice in Florida, studying sea turtles in Costa Rica, and teaching in Pavillion, WY, this group is made up of geologists, biologists, educators, artists, and so much more. This cohort has already been serving for about a month now, and it is evident how much they are bringing to Field Education. 

At the end of May, the team embarked on a two-week training focused on this place and its systems. During this training, AmeriCorps members were asked why they chose to serve with TSS and community partners. Their reflections were inspiring and struck a common theme: a hope to serve on a team of individuals dedicated to place-based education. Take a look at a few members’ reflections on why they chose to become a part of the TSS community:
 
“I want to be a part of a community that does good for both the environment and the lives of young and older learners.”
 
“I want to be pushed outside my comfort zone.”
 
“I believe that things that are learned through experience are everlasting; I hope to use what I learn while at TSS to change the face of education.”
 
“I believe it is important for me to challenge myself as a teacher in an arena that is often only accessible by privilege.”
 
“My position at TSS is as much about stoking my own passions as it is about helping others realize theirs.”
 
“Why not?”
 
Throughout the summer, AmeriCorps members will be primarily serving within Field Education of TSS and Jackson Hole Children’s Museum. As a part of their service term, members also work with to increase the capacity of community organizations. They will be serving with Teton Literacy Center, Teton Adaptive Sports, Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation, Teton County Public Health, Teton County School District, and many more organizations. Those in Field Education at TSS will also be working on a variety of other programs: summer day programs for local youth, with Columbia, MO school district middle schoolers, with a group from the American School for the Deaf, on a National Military Families Association retreat, with a Texas Children’s Hospital program, and more.  
 
Members are also excited to develop capacity here at TSS. Most will be working at our Boyles Hill Campus, revamping the trails and building place-based curriculum. Others have identified other areas of need within curriculum and staff training that they will spend the summer developing. 
 
It is always exciting to welcome the fresh, new energy each AmeriCorps cohort brings to the Jackson community. Their dedication and drive are empowering to us all. Wish these members luck if you see them and thank them for their dedicated service to this place.