Steamboat Springs Spending a whole summer day digging and building trails can be hard work for a local teenager.
It's so exhausting, some teens might even shy away from the task.
But Grant Janka, a member of Steamboat Springs Community Youth Corps, is one of those teens who takes the job in stride, and even inspires others to get things done.
“He would look back and find the best way to do things better or enhance everything around him,” Youth Corps Director Kate Warnke said of Grant. “All the other kids saw that, and that inspired them and made everything else better.”
Earlier this month, the Colorado Youth Corps Association named Grant one of its 2013 Corpsmembers of the Year along with nine other members from around the state.
He was honored at the State Capitol where former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar gave the keynote speech.
“He is just an outstanding young man,” Warnke said. “We're just so impressed by him. He exemplifies the leadership and the quality we look for with the Community Youth Corps, he did an amazing job.”
Grant, a freshman at Steamboat Springs High School, wants to pursue a career as an officer in the U.S. Navy after he graduates.
The Community Youth Corps in Steamboat is a hands-on learning experience for teens ages 14-16.
As members of the corps, teenagers spend their first week working in city parks and open space. The second week of the program allows them to work on a private project with groups like the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Nature Conservancy.
"It was just a lot of fun," Janka said of his summer experience. "I made some new friends and it was a lot of fun."
Applications for the summer program are available starting this month at www.steamboatsprings.net/cyc.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.
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