Estes Park Trail Gazette – Director of AmeriCorps Visits Eagle Rock School

On Monday, October 15, Kristin McSwain, director of AmeriCorps, visited with staff and students at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center. McSwain was in Estes Park for the 2007 Governor’s Commission on Community Service Conference held at the YMCA of the Rockies.

AmeriCorps is a network of local, state, and national service programs that connects more than 70,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet our country’s critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.

AmeriCorps members serve with more than 2,000 nonprofits, public agencies, and faith-based and community organizations. Since 1994, more than 400,000 men and women have provided needed assistance to millions of Americans across the nation through their AmeriCorps service.

Robert Burkhardt, Head of School explains, “The ethic of service advanced by AmeriCorps volunteers across this country has helped to shape our thinking and practice at Eagle Rock School, underpinning our school’s philosophy of ‘service to others’.”

The Governor’s Commission on Community Service serves as a catalyst for the promotion and expansion of community service and volunteerism to all Coloradoans as an effective means to address civic and social issues and improve the overall well being of communities throughout the state, particularly in the areas of literacy and mentoring.

Since 2002, through a partnership with Public Allies, Inc., Eagle Rock School has hosted 72 AmeriCorps volunteers through the Public Allies Teaching Fellowship Program. The Public Allies Fellowships at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center support new ways of leading that are right for the times and right for a unique youth population. This year-long service and leadership development program provides 12 fellows with a challenging community building opportunity and advanced instruction to become effective teachers, leadership trainers, and youth workers.

Fellows work and live together alongside students and staff at Eagle Rock’s campus in Estes Park, Colorado. Founded in 1993, Eagle Rock is a nationally recognized, tuition-free residential high school that provides a unique learning environment to youth (ages 15 to 21) from across the country who have not succeeded in conventional schools.

Diverse young leaders who wish to advance their leadership skills while creating innovative social change should consider this program. Fellows draw on a beautiful mountain setting to develop the talents and confidence of students, and they support a nontraditional curriculum that focuses on how people learn rather than how teachers teach. Eagle Rock emphasizes active learning, community service, environmentalism, outdoor education, and traditional academic subjects.

For more information about Eagle Rock’s AmeriCorps Program, visit

Photo (L to R):
• Margrette Castro, Director of Public Allies Eagle Rock/Public Allies Regional Director
• Robert Burkhardt, Head of School
• Kristin McSwain, Director of AmeriCorps
• Dan Condon, Founder of Public Allies at Eagle Rock School/Associate Director of Professional Development – Eagle Rock School
• Jimmy Frickey, Public Allies Eagle Rock Alum/Public Allies National Alumni Advisory Board Member