An oral history of community service: Greater Los Angeles Edition

With AmeriCorps Week barely concluded, we have the AmeriCorps journeys of our SolarCorps Fellows at the top of our mind.

It's a journey to serve.

Enjoy these stories from our Outreach Department (courtesy of Outreach Fellow Selena Pacheco) and Workforce Development (courtesy of Workforce Development Fellow Nila Cousar) in Greater Los Angeles.

Nila: I love to stay involved in grassroot projects. So, I was excited to wake early Saturday morning to plant trees.

Selena: Arriving to Elysian Park, you can see that it's a place that not only has historical importance but serves as a place of gathering for members of the community. It was wonderful seeing all types of people show up, ready to plant some trees and it was great getting to know folks as well.

Nila: It is always a pleasure being surrounded by likeminded folks who are eager to stay engaged in community projects.

Selena: I had never attended a tree planting event before this one so I was curious as to how tree planting even works. Before we got started, we had AmeriCorps Members show us how to properly plant a tree, the do's and don'ts as well as the importance of planting trees in the first place. Once that short training was over, we went out in groups of three to plant our first tree!

Nila: I learned about tree equity and was pleased to commemorate Martin Luther King and increase tree canopy in areas of the greatest need throughout Greater Los Angeles.

Selena: Frankly all I cared about was making sure this tree was planted properly so that years from now I can come visit it. This experience inspired me to continue tree planting in my local community of Pomona and it's been a great experience every time I go and I even encourage my friends to participate in it as well!

Nila: After that day, we were 30 trees closer to planting and maintaining 90,000 trees citywide detailed in L.A.'s Green New Deal by 2021.

The SolarCorps Fellowship Program is part of the AmeriCorps network of programs. SolarCorps is made possible with funding support from AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Bank of America. AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering, service, and civic engagement. CNCS engages millions of Americans in citizen service through its AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs and leads the nation’s volunteer and service efforts. For more information, visit