“I will get things done for America- to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier. I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities…” Fifteen Yuba College students repeated this pledge on March l9 at the Marysville campus as part of the Americorps initiation ceremony.Although the participants vary in age, ethnicity and experience, they share the desire to be mentors to foster youth in America, which is the aim of Americorps at Yuba College.Americorps, established by President Clinton, is a program similar to the Peace Corps, with the exception that the members do not go abroad, but dedicate their service locally.Laurie Scheuermann, the director of Americorps at Yuba College, wrote a grant last May with other community agencies and programs to establish a local Americorps chapter. “This was a very collaborative effort between Yuba County, Sutter County, Friday Night Live and Office of Education. Everyone worked so hard to achieve this and reach this moment,” said Scheuermann.Scheuermann explained that each volunteer must complete 450 hours in a year, attend a weekly class, and all members must complete two community service projects in partnership with their mentees. The foster youth are between 14-18 years of age and each is paired with a mentor that shares similar interests, said Scheuermann. At the end of their service, volunteers get a scholarship of $1,182.Linda Cortez, who has volunteered in the community before, is one of the student recruits. “When you see someone distressed, you automatically want to help,” said Cortez. “There is just something inside of me that can’t help it.”Michael Taylor, also a student at Yuba College, first heard about Americorps in a class last semester. The presentation spurred him on to volunteer.”This is my first volunteer experience, and I thought it would be a good one,” said Taylor.The Americorps program at Yuba College will connect the mentors with their mentees within the next few weeks. Scheuermann added that there are still a few more spaces available if students are interested. She can be reached at her office at 741-6750.”This is a fascinating program and a dream come true to have it at Yuba College,” Scheuermann said smiling.