I want to thank D'Wane Brown and the Urban Corps crew for the hard work you all do. I called in for weeds on easement and graffiti removal and the next day the crew was out cleaning up. Thank the crew for the help in keeping my neighborhood looking good. I really appreciate it. GREAT JOB!

City Heights

Oh my gosh - I am so impressed (and everyone else at the school) with your program. Thank you for making my schoolyard habitat possible. Please let your students know that they did a fantastic job on Tuesday. Thanks!

Gay Young
Science Teacher
Kumeyaay Elementary School

I should be thanking you all for being so supportive and believing in the corpsmembers. I believe we all are destined for greatness, it's just we needed someone to believe in us. I appreciate all your efforts and I believe it is my duty to pass on insight to becoming successful to other corpsmembers involved in the program…. If we all work together, I'm sure we will see more corpsmembers succeed and see the greatness in themselves.

Johnny Kounnavong
Corpsmember Graduate

One thing that has stuck with me through the years is a desire to do things that benefit more than just me. A sense of serving and doing what I can to make the community better, or doing what I can to help other people. I also gained so much knowledge about the environment and basic work skills that have helped me immeasurably through the years. It was hard work, but the skills, knowledge and experience I gained during my time at Urban Corps have undoubtedly had a major, positive influence on where I am in life today.

Patricia Bohnwagner
Former Corpsmember

I was born in Anaheim to a single mother, who was 16 at the time. Growing up as a kid I remember having a great childhood. When I was five we moved to San Diego and my grandpa moved. I loved my grandpa. He played a huge role in making me the person I am. We lived as one big happy family until I started high school.

My first year of high school was superb. I passed all of my classes and was even in JROTC. My family was very proud of me. I did not start struggling until I was in tenth grade. That is when I began to hang out with the wrong crowd. I started to ditch a lot and not care about school. The year before I dropped out my grandpa died, which was very hard on me. Before I knew it, the problem got worse and I dropped out in eleventh grade. I was going down a horrible road. I got into dealing meth because that is where the money was. I was hanging out with gang members and I picked up their habits, eventually getting caught with drugs and a firearm. I did 5½ months in jail on a nine-month sentence. The judge was light on me. When I got out, I told myself I was going to change. It was time to get my mind strong and take advantage of any opportunity I could.

The Price Scholarship will definitely help me in accomplishing one of my biggest goals in life, attending college and finding a career in information technology. So far I have attended Grossmont Community college to get a taste of the college world and I loved it.

My family is of Mexican descent and the drop-out rate in my family is very high. I am not the first generation to attend college and do not want to be the last. Instead, I would like to set an example and pave the way for all of my young siblings by continuing my education.

Daniel Villanueva
Corpsmember Graduate

Urban Corps came into my life when I most needed it. I was lost trying to find a way to go to school and work. I was told that it would take two years for me to be able to graduate. Coming here to the Corps helped me graduate much faster and still be able to provide for my family. I plan to become a social worker. I want to help the city of San Diego or at least the children of San Diego.

Rita Castelo, Corpsmember graduate

Thank you for cleaning up the canyon below our house. We have been asking the city to help us with this for years with no response or a brush off to another department. I also asked how the graffiti on the curb at the end of our street could be removed and Rene Buso took action, called and had someone come immediately and clean up what the city again had been asked to do for months. THANK YOU! The young men who hauled all the furniture and trash out of our canyon are our heroes!!

Amy Wallen, South Park.

Urban Corps does a phenomenal job cleaning up graffiti, canyons and streets. City Heights benefits directly from their good work... Urban Corps' fabulous team - under the direction of their master carpenter, Jose Macias - rebuilt the switchback (at Hollywood Park) better than ever and installed new steps. We are very grateful.

Linda Pennington, Project CLEAN


Omar Garcia, former Corpsmember, Phoenix, AZ

I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciated the help you provided to me when I lost my home and had to move into an apartment!!! I am a single mom of 4 kids and I have Cerebral Palsy so moving by myself was not an option!! Your people were quick, kind and gentle with my things. They were a life saver!!! THANK YOU!

Brenda Marsh

I would like to share with you and your staff on the trail work (completed by) the Urban Corps work crews and Field Supervisors at Mission Trails Regional Park. On the first week the work crew was assigned to Mission Trails Regional Park, they were given the assignments to apply Erosion Control and Prevention Measures and Trail Rehabilitation to trail tread work. ..The work crews are all hard working individuals showing the highest willingness to work with each other and respect each other despite the different cultures and nationalities involved. They have shown their desire and commitment to their assigned duties on the trail. Urban Corps. Field Supervisors have shown a high degree of professionalism in communicating with individuals of the work crews in understanding the tasks and assignments given to them. Both the Field Supervisors and Work Crews have demonstrated the dedication and hard work to their tasks. I commend these two Field Supervisors on their first week with these new work crews. Again, I commend these two Field Supervisors and the 3rd cycle work crews for their first week trail tread work.

Melvyn Naidas, Mission Trails Regional Park

Urban Corps has helped me a lot. It has helped me work and have a job while working towards earning my High School Diploma. Something that I want is to graduate so I could get a better job. The program helps me wake up every morning to something; to get up knowing that I have work that day; knowing that on Friday is another payday. I am glad that I could work with people from different backgrounds and I have learned some things in their culture.

Manuel Henderson, Corpsmember graduate

Congratulations on your 20 years of services to the San Diego County. We appreciate the outstanding training that your organization offers to the young adults in our urban communities and the various conservation efforts and manpower intensive services your group provides. On behalf of Mary Ann V. Sanvictores, DDS and her dental staff we applaud the executive staff and its team of motivated workers for doing a job well done!

Douglas Sanvictores D.D.S., Imperial Beach

Yesterday, I cleared my lawn. I had planned to hire a hauling service to get rid of the large amount of debris. One of your teams just rolled up and took care of it. Like magic garden genies. Your program is great. Thank You!

Sonya Palacios

Your corpsmembers made a big difference to the success of this (Shawn Canyon) project.

Sue Pelley, Senior Park Ranger, San Diego Parks and Recreation

On behalf of our residents and the Lakeside Fire department, THANK YOU for your part in making sure that the defensible space was met at our park. Again, THANK YOU and your organization for all your hard work. We would also like to thank Urban Corps for doing such a great job!

Miguel Espinoza, Pecan Community Park

I began working for the Urban Corps in the late summer of 1997. At the time, I wasn't having much success personally or professionally. I was 18, a year behind my graduating class and not showing any real signs of academic progress. After passing the GED exam, I was out of school and out of a job, and struggling in every way possible. I rode the trolley and the bus to search for employment, and that's when I began to notice groups of young people with the green Urban Corps uniforms. After learning about the program, I went to apply for a position and was accepted. As an Urban Corpsmember I worked in the recycling department. I also worked in the conservation department cutting down trees. In the recycling department I did an internship with I Love A Clean San Diego, which made me aware of how important recycling is to the community. During my time at Urban Corps, I began to focus on my future, and what I needed to do be successful in life. I learned the value of hard work and dedication. Working with the Corps gave me the opportunity to believe that I could really make progress if I applied myself. I learned how to work with many different types of personalities, which became important in my later military career.

Urban Corps changed me in a positive way, because it prepared me for the next phase of my life. Graduating from high school was monumental because it opened doors that weren't available to me prior to graduating. Since graduating from the program in 1998, I joined the Air Force and enrolled in Southern Illinois University's Workforce Education program at Fairchild AFB. I was the first airman in my squadron to attend the program, and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Workforce Education. I completed the Master's of Business Administration program at Webster University in 2005. Shortly after completing the program, I was hired into an accelerated management program for Air Force contracting. I was later hired as a contract administrator at MacDill AFB, in Tampa, FL. I was also accepted into the Master in Sports Administration program at Gonzaga University in 2006. In addition to my academic achievements, I began to write poetry and have performed some of my writings on local radio stations in Washington and have been published on the internet. My poem entitled "Young Child" was nominated as a finalist for poem of the year in 2007 by Poetry.com. I also officiate high school basketball and work with young kids in community teaching them how to play different sports. My message to future and current Corpsmembers is that the Urban Corps is a positive and vital resource that can be utilized to catapult you into the next phase of success.

It is important to finish high school, not just for the opportunities that it may bring, but to prove to yourself that you can accomplish your goals. The Urban Corps has provided the opportunity to have employment, and an education, but most importantly a chance to improve yourself. Take advantage of opportunities when they arrive, because those opportunities will allow you to be in better situations in life. Most importantly, remember that you are capable of accomplishing many goals that will have a positive effect and the lives of those that love and support you through all of your ups and downs. Life is a like weather forecast, sometimes the forecast is stormy, and sometimes it is sunny and clear. What we decide to do now determines what our forecast will be in the future. Each day we must strive to have clear and sunny skies, but we must learn how to appreciate the rain because it makes our sunshine even brighter when those grey clouds go away. In other words the sky is the limit, and it all begins when you make the decision to take the future in your hands.

Thank you, Urban Corps.

Omar Majette, Corpsmember graduate

We would like to extend our deepest appreciation for all the hard work that Alfredo Alvarez and his team did at our property in Julian. Each man worked professionally and behaved gentlemanly. They were willing to do exactly what we felt we needed most. I certainly wish we could have had them longer than three days.

But we appreciate the time for which we had their help. Unfortunately, during the thick of our recovery phase, after the fires, we were not aware of this wonderful program until last year--and then my application was too late to participate.

Thank you, Ms. Burnett, for making sure I got on this year's list... Again, thank you so much for the help. And please thank each member of Alfredo's team. They were truly fantastic, efficient, hard workers--a winning team!


Kimberly and Orpheus Hanley

Urban Corps of San Diego has made a great impact in my life because before I joined the Corps I was unemployed, married, and expecting a child. As soon as I started, I felt proud of my work and at the same time, proud of myself because I am still furthering my education and will be able to graduate with a high school diploma and make my family proud.

Angel Amaya, Corpsmember graduate and Price Scholarship recipient



Thank you for your investment and involvement in our April 10, 2010 DO Something World (DSW) event. An army of 1,659 DSW volunteers marched into the City of San Diego with a mission to beautify it. Participants in DSW shirts weeded, raked, trimmed trees, painted, repaired equipment and collected trash and recyclables at three venues- Balboa Park, Encanto and Jackie Robinson YMCA/ Chollas Creek. Thank you for investing in the Kingdom of God.

Zachary C. Jones, Executive Pastor The Rock Church

I wanted to personally thank the Urban Corps volunteers that participated in the Great Golden Hill Community Cleanup on Saturday, May 31, 2008. Your supervisors and volunteers were very professional, efficient and more than accommodating to all our requests during the cleanup. Without their efforts our cleanup would have not been as successful. I ask that you extend our praise and thanks to all the volunteers from Saturday’s cleanup. I look forward to working together on more events.

Alia Kanani, Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation

Without the Urban Corps volunteers, there simply would have been no event. Thank you sincerely for Urban Corp’s participation and for your continued impact on our garden and our community.

Diana Bergman, Education Coordinator Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County

We call upon you annually for volunteers to assist us serving over 700 guests attending Barrio Station’s fundraiser. The volunteers not only serve but stay to help in the clean up of dinnerware, table linens, break down tables and stack chairs, sweep and mop. You’ve sent drivers with a Class B license to help shuttle our guests to and from nearby parking facilities. There have been times that we call in a state of urgency and you or your staff always manage to come through for us; either by giving us ideas or sending workers to help us. You have a wonderful program and we are thankful to be able to call upon you and the San Diego Urban Corps. You are appreciated and we thank you for your friendship.

Rachael Ortiz, Executive Director of Barrio Station

Thank you so much! The area you worked on for us looks great! It is really appreciated and we wanted you to know! Thank you!

Rene Wallace, Administration @ Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego

I just want thank you and your organization for the wonderful job that Luis and his crew did for me yesterday, I am so grateful. Thank you so much.

Bernie Bullen

Please accept the Councilmember's thanks for the Urban Corps' wonderful efforts helping out this neighborhood. This is a tremendous assistance and Councilmember Emerald and I want to let you know we really, truly do appreciate everything the Urban Corps does.

Cynthia R. Harris, Council Representative for Councilmember Marti Emerald

The Urban Corps crew was spectacular! Everyone was so impressed by their work and ability to move all the concrete out of the canyon. Your coordination and efforts to make it all happen was truly amazing. Thank you and I cannot wait to continue working with you all!

Carla Pisbe
Ocean Discovery Institute