Woodsville High Graduate Completes Service Program

Haverhill — A recent stint with a national service program took Haverhill resident Derek Dube from Washington State to the Jersey shore, from Utah to Death Valley.

“It was definitely a life-changing experience,” said Dube, a 2010 graduate of Woodsville High School. “It opened some doors for me.”

Dube, 21, completed a 10-month term with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps last month.

After training in Sacramento last fall, he and several fellow corps members teamed up on a series of projects across the country. They started out in Washington, building houses with Habitat For Humanity.

Then, when Hurricane Sandy hit, they helped with disaster relief in New Jersey.

“It was really weird to see that kind of destruction,” said Dube, who was impressed with the community spirit he encountered. “A lot of people helped out.”

During the year, they also worked at a camp for people with disabilities in Salt Lake City and helped with an environmental restoration project in Death Valley.

“We camped, and we survived,” he said.

Each year, about 1,200 young adults age18 to 24 serve in the full-time, residential program. In addition to providing disaster relief, they work on projects that support the environment, energy conservation, infrastructure improvement, and urban and rural development.

Corps members receive room and board, a small stipend, and $5,550 to help pay for college or repay existing student loans.

Dube, who plans to apply to a community college, said his experience in the corps opened up new job avenues for him. He enjoyed his time at the camp so much that he’s considering a career working with people with disabilities.

For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, go to www.nationalservice.gov. — Aimee Caruso