Since graduating from the Environmental Studies Program at Lafayette, Jacqueline Cirincione has been serving with AmeriCorps on a Water Quality Team through the Community Action Committee (CAC) in Knoxville, TN. Jacqueline’s position involves going into schools and teaching – using the watershed model and an interdisciplinary approach – the importance of the environment and encouraging community engagement and involvement. During the week, she visits 4 schools (3 middle schools and a high school), where she works with specific classes. Her work with these classes involves completing activities to teach the students about environmental issues, pollution related activities in the community, and water quality. At the end of Jacqueline’s time with each individual class, they work on a service project related to the environment to benefit their school’s campus and/or the community.
In addition to going into schools, Jacqueline also coordinates Adpot-A-Stream, a program that encourages community groups to adopt a section of a stream in their watershed and allows them to participate in clean ups of their section throughout the year. Lastly, Jacqueline is also helping to organize WaterFest. WaterFest is an event in Knoxville for school-aged children in the community to learn about water quality.
Jacqueline’s position has also afforded her other opportunities, such as completing fieldwork with biologists from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) as well as professionals from Knox County Stormwater. She’s also had the opportunity to become certified and card carrying in the state of Tennessee for erosion prevention and sediment control.
The CAC AmeriCorps position has provided many great experiences and opportunities for Jacqueline, and she would recommend CAC programs to anyone interested in a year of service in the environmental field. Working on the Water Quality Team is just one of many in a wide range of options.