On February 4, 2019 a very historic national and local milestone was achieved for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. After two years of planning and development processes the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Emergency Management Department successfully launched the only Tribal AmeriCorps Program on the eastern half of the United States.
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe AmeriCorps Program is a community service based program that enhances the community with disaster service based assistance and has a large focus on the tribes elder and vulnerable population. MWT Emergency Management Director Nelson Andrews Jr is the programs Executive Director and MWT Emergency Preparedness Specialist Allyssa Hathaway is the programs Executive Assistant Director and serves as the program Manager. The team consists of ten local Mashpee Wampanoag tribal youth ranging in ages from 18-24 years old and operates under the daily guidance of their team Leader Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal member Adam “AJ” Jonas Jr.
The new ten MWT AmeriCorps members are a five male- and five female-based team as of February 2019. The current members are as follows Steven Costa, Emmitt Harper, Robbie Hendricks Jr, Joseph Spinola, Annawon Weeden Jr, Dyani Barbosa, Dayna Floyd, Dayla Fitzpatrick, Rebekah Herrera and Haley Jonas.
These members had to each take the AmeriCorps pledge for their ten-month service commitment to the program. Each member receives a living allowance stipend weekly and will receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award for over $6,000 completion of their 1,700 service hours to the program. The members also receive valuable trainings, certifications and life enhancement lessons throughout the course of the program.
They have already achieved significant and valuable training during the programs first month such as; FEMA Incident Command System Training, Terrorism Awareness Certification through Texas A&M, OSHA Chainsaw Certification, OSHA Construction Site Certification as well as chainsaw, generator familiarity and an introduction to drone operations including FAA Small Unmanned Aircraft regulations.
In addition to the trainings the members have already provided valuable community service during snow and ice storms and are in the process of identifying and updating the tribes elder and vulnerable member lists. The AmeriCorps member team are also participated in a week long training in March at the Department of Homeland Security Center for Domestic Preparedness Tribal Training Week in Anniston, Alabama.
The first year of the program is off to a great start and we are looking forward to providing valuable disaster service assistance to the tribal community while helping to shape and enhance the futures of our local tribal member youth.
For any questions or comments please email MWT Emergency Management Director/MWT AmeriCorps Program Executive Director at Nelson.AndrewsJr@mwtribe-nsn.gov or MWT Emergency Preparedness Specialist / MWT AmeriCorps Program Assistant Executive Director at Allyssa.Hathaway@mwtribe-nsn.gov