May 27, 2009 — Applications are open through June 12 for V.I. National Park's Youth Conservation Corps program, Superintendent Mark Hardgrove said.
"They learn about themselves," he said of the program's participants
The youths also learn about the environment through the summer job and by participating in extracurricular activities provided by the park.
The program is open to St. Thomas and St. John youths between the ages of 15 and 18. Hardgrove said the St. Croix national parks will hold its own YCC program.
The park has National Park Service funding for eight boys and eight girls. Since more than 16 youths usually apply, the names of eight boys and eight girls will be drawn out of hats. Hardgrove said that alternates will also be selected in case some of the original group drops out.
The program runs from June 22 through Aug. 14. Orientation will be held at 10 a.m. June 19 at the park. Work hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The YCC participants earn minimum wage, which Hardgrove estimated would give them about $2,000 for eight weeks of work.
The work includes maintenance, Hurricane Omar-related repairs, jobs in the park's archives, and office computer work.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens or hold permanent residency status.
Those selected will be contacted by phone. Those not selected will receive a letter.
According to Hardgrove, St. Thomas-based participants will ride the free park ferry from the Red Hook office to the park's Cruz Bay dock. St. John participants will provide their own transportation to the park's maintenance facility in Cruz Bay.
Applications are available at the park Visitors Center in Cruz Bay and at the park's Red Hook, St. Thomas facility located off Red Hook Road. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Applicants must supply a student school identification card and/or passport, a Social Security card and a copy of their birth certificate. Applications should be returned to the park's Human Resources Office at the Visitors Center in Cruz Bay. Applicants should indicate their T-shirt size on the application.
Hardgrove said youths planning to pick up applications at Red Hook can call the office first at 714-7583. Applications can also be faxed by calling 776-6201.
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