Covington resident among first graduating class of FEMA Corps

Laura Rodriguez of Covington recently completed FEMA Corps, an intensive 10-month national service program addressing needs in disaster response and recovery. The graduation ceremony on Nov. 19 celebrated their first class of FEMA Corps graduates at the Sacramento, Calif., campus. Rodriguez was one of 141 FEMA Corps members honored at the ceremony.

FEMA Corps is partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Corporation for National and Community Service to enhance the nation’s disaster response and recovery capacity while expanding career opportunities for young people.

Established as a new unit within the existing AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps program, FEMA Corps engages young adults ages 18 to 24 to serve on disaster-related projects.

After completing training in March, FEMA Corps members deployed across the U.S. to provide both immediate response and long-term recovery support in emergency management. They supported communities affected by Hurricane Sandy, the tornado in Moore, Okla., and flooding in Colorado and Illinois.

When not assigned to immediate disaster response, the teams served FEMA in locations across the country assisting with longer-term recovery operations.

During their 71 projects, these Sacramento-based Corps Members completed 325,000 hours of service. A small sampling of their accomplishments include collecting or distributing over 1 million pounds of supplies, goods, food, and clothing, conducting over 3,000 case status updates, and answering about 5,000 registration or helpline calls.

Before joining FEMA Corps, Rodriguez attended Eastside High School and Chattahoochee Technical College, and earned a degree in technical communications.

AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, residential, national service program in which 2,800 young adults serve nationwide each year. During their 10-month term, Corps Members — all 18 to 24 years old — work on teams of eight to 12 on projects that address critical needs.