by: Submitted Photo - Patrick Benham, second from right in hard hat, with his fellow NCCC crew members.

   Patrick Benham of Madras, recently began a 10-month term of service in the National Civilian Community Corps, an AmeriCorps program.
   Benham, based out of the AmeriCorps regional campus in Denver, Colo., was formally inducted into the program on Nov. 8. He arrived at his regional campus in October to begin a month of training.
   This training, which prepared the over 300 corps members for full-time service with AmeriCorps NCCC, emphasized teamwork, leadership development, communication, service learning, and included certification by the American Red Cross.
   Benham will be responsible for completing a series of six- to eight-week-long service projects as part of a 10- to 12-person team.
   Their first service projects will end in mid-December, at which time the teams will break for the winter holidays and begin a new project in a new location in January.
   Before serving in NCCC, Benham attended Madras High School. He is the son of Patrick and Karen Benham of Madras.
   "I chose AmeriCorps to help myself and hopefully help others in return, said Benham."
   AmeriCorps NCCC is a residential national service program that supports disaster relief, the environment, infrastructure improvement, energy conservation, and urban and rural development.
   Fifty-six teams composed of over 600 corps members and team leaders began service projects in November throughout the Pacific and Southwest regions, based in Sacramento and Denver respectively.
   There are three additional NCCC campuses located in Perry Point, Md., Vinton, Iowa, and Vicksburg, Miss., each of which is a hub for its respective area of the country.
   AmeriCorps NCCC members, all 18 to 24 years old, complete at least 1,700 hours of service during the 10-month program. In exchange for their service, they receive $5,550 to help pay for college.
   Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, leadership development, team building skills, and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, they can indeed make a difference.
   AmeriCorps NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at
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