Pacific Southwest Region employee recognized as 21CSC Champion of the Year

Woman speaking from a podium
Kathleen Mick, Pacific Southwest Region program manager for volunteers & service, community engagement, conservation education and interpretive services, receives the 21CS Champion of the Year award. USDA Forest Service photo.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, the Partnership for 21st Century Conservation Service Corps recognized Kathleen Mick, Pacific Southwest Region program manager for volunteers & service, community engagement, conservation education and interpretive services, as a 21CSC Champion of the Year. The award was presented Mick at the Corps Network Conference on February 10, in front of hundreds of partners and stakeholders.  

The 21CSC award is presented on an annual basis to dedicated individuals from organizations and federal agencies that partners with 21CSC programs. This award recognizes resource management professionals for their efforts to help develop the next generation of resource professionals, outdoor enthusiasts, and community leaders. Mick is one of four recipients to receive the Champion of the Year award.  

Mick began her career in the Forest Service 32 years ago, as a co-op student in timber/silviculture on the Mendocino National Forest. She is a graduate of University Nevada, Reno, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management. She also attended the USDA Forest Service sponsored Recreation Masters Short Course at Clemson University.

Throughout her career, Mick has held an array of positions that have contributed to citizen access and public engagement. She is particularly passionate about working with veterans and young people. During her tenure, she partnered with the National Park Service, where they developed the Bay Area YCC youth summit. This summit created a pathway in which YCC crews come together at Point Reyes National Seashore to learn, work and share experiences over a two-day period. Mick acquired the Volunteers & Service portfolio in 2015 along with her other duties, and her leadership is yielding results. Since then, the region has steadily reported annual increases in the total number of volunteers and service participants. Nearly 19,000 citizens were reported in 2019, which included thousands engaged on the 21 CSC projects through conservation corps partners and the Youth Conservation Corps. The top work activities focused on Ecosystem, Forest & Natural Resource and Recreation Management.
The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps is a private-public partnership that engages more than 25,000 returning veterans and young Americans each year to strengthen America’s infrastructure, boost local economies and multiply returns on our country’s most valuable assets. The Corps Network National Conference is an annual gathering of national, state and local leaders in the fields of workforce development, community service and conservation. Attendees include directors and senior staff from Service and Conservation Corps across the country, officials from federal agencies, representatives from philanthropic foundations, and friends and supporters of the Corps movement.